Q&A with Kohei Hirate
Q: You had a reasonably good start of your GP2 maiden season at Sakhir but, after that weekend, your performances didn`t improve as people expected. What`s happened?
KH: "I don`t know exactly. But what I can say is that I had good performances during the races but not in qualifying, because it was not so easy to adapt to all the conditions and bring the maximum out of the car in such a limited time".
Q: You scored your first points and your first podium at Nurburgring. How is your feeling now, and what`s your goal for the remainder of the season?
KH: "Of course I feel better and more confident than I was at the beginning of the season. So the target is to repeat the recent good results and - if possible - to even improve them".
Q: Do you think the GP2 Series has a tough environment for a rookie? If yes, can you explain why?
KH: "It definitely is. All the drivers competing in GP2 have moved up as the best of their respective developmental series, so you basically can`t have weak contenders. They all had to be strong and successful to clinch their spot".
Q: In the first race of the season, at Bahrain, you and your team-mate Pastor Maldonado were involved in an hard fight, while last races anything went on with a lot of fair play. Did something change in the relations you have with him?
KH: "After some problems we had at the beginning of the season, we really respect each other in a professional way".
Q: Where and how do you figure yourself in 2008?
KH: "The most important thing is to perform well in the next races, and keep improving until the end of the season. If I`ll manage to succeed, it would probably be time to make a wish about next year. Anyway, the decision will be taken by the management of the `Toyota Drivers Program` ".