Bird, Bianchi and Turvey discuss the race GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's feature race here in Monza. Joining us today we have first time race winner Sam Bird from ART, in second we have his teammate...
Bird, Bianchi and Turvey discuss the race
GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's feature race here in Monza. Joining us today we have first time race winner Sam Bird from ART, in second we have his teammate Jules Bianchi, and in third is Oliver Turvey from iSport. Sam Bird, GP2 race winner: how does that sound?
Sam Bird: It sounds pretty good to me! The team gave me a fantastic car today -- I don't really know what to say! A lot of emotions were going through me for the last lap of the race, and it's been a long, long time since I last won a race, to be honest. To be able to start second, get in the lead on the first lap and get in and control it like we did is incredible: I'm really, really happy!
GP2 Series: Most of the story for you came in the first corner: talk us through that from your perspective.
Sam: There's not a lot of grip here on the start line, and I think most of us had a lot of wheelspin: I got slightly less than Jules and I was able to outdrag him to the first corner, and with the fact that we'd generated a lot of heat in our rear tyres in comparison to the fronts I had a bit of understeer. So then I went straight on, Jules went straight on, and when Jules came back on the track I was able to just get a little bit better traction and drive away from him going into the long right hander. And that was it, really.
GP2 Series: That was it for you, but there was a lot of action happening behind you and you sailed on serenely! You had two restarts, and you looked to have everything under control, but were there any moments for you?
Sam: I was a bit worried about the restarts, as I haven't done a restart in the lead for a while, but I think I managed them okay today. I had a big, big gap on both occasions, once to whoever was in second the first time and once to Oli, so I was happy with my restarts: there must have been a lot of carnage to have two restarts in quick succession, but they were good, I was able to maintain a lead, and then to pull away.
GP2 Series: This is the first win for ART this year: what does it mean to the guys in the team?
Sam: It means a lot to the guys, and to have a one-two is especially good. I'm really happy for Jules: he was really good today, and he's back from quick a big injury in Hungary, so to come back here with pole and a strong second is fantastic for him, and he's back to his old self. For the team it means a lot, and you can see it in their eyes: they wanted it so badly, they're used to winning, and to have it back again is really good for them.
GP2 Series: You start P8 tomorrow, and we know you like to overtake: any thoughts for the race?
Sam: We'll see: I'd like to do what I did in Barcelona! [laughs]
GP2 Series: Great job today: congratulations. Jules, congratulations on P2 today after a much more dramatic race than your teammate: how was it for you?
Jules Bianchi: A really difficult race: first I had a really bad start, Sam did better than me, we were side by side at the first corner and I tried to stay at the outside but there was no place so he had a better exit than me and he was P1, and then we had the safety car, I did a bad restart and Jerome tried to overtake me in the first corner and we just touched, again there wasn't so much space so I just went straight, he closed a bit the door and we crashed a bit. I broke the car a bit but I could continue, it was more or less normal, and I lost 3 or 4 positions in the crash. After the second safety car I overtook Parente, after the pitstop I overtook Davide, and then Oliver as well. It was a good race for me after that, and I'm very happy because after Spa it was really difficult for us to know what happened really. We worked a lot between the races, and the team did a really good job, and we are P1 and P2 which is really good at the end of the season because we can still finish second in the [teams] championship, which would be a really good thing for me, and I'm really happy for Sam because he really deserves this victory: he did a perfect race, and I'm happy for him.
Sam: Thank you darling! [laughs]
GP2 Series: It was a good race, particularly as you had to fight back and get by a few guys. It seemed like you have good pace, but just not quite as good as @!Sam: would that be fair to say?
Jules: I think so, yes. He was a bit quicker I think, and we'll look tonight at the data to see what was better for him, but after the pitstop I pushed quite a lot and I probably used a lot of my tyres, so maybe it was that: we'll see tonight what is going on.
GP2 Series: Another chance to fight tomorrow: what do you think you can do tomorrow?
Jules: I think we can be quick, but I don't think it's really easy to overtake in Monza because the fast corners are quite fast so it's difficult to be close: it's possible to finish in the points, for sure, and it would be a good thing for me to come back in the championship.
GP2 Series: Congratulations for today. Oliver, congratulations on your drive today, not quite as dramatic as some but a solid, mature run to yet another podium: happy with your job today?
Oliver Turvey: Yeah, definitely! It was great to be on the podium on a Saturday, and to move forward on a Saturday where we usually struggle for race pace this season. We have tended to start at the front lately but struggle for race pace, and today it was a difficult race and we were down at time on straight line speed, but we were able to make some changes and it was much better. I was much happier today in the race: my pace was good, not quite up with these two but we worked hard with the team, and we'll work hard again tonight to try and find something for tomorrow and hopefully to get another podium. This is my ninth consecutive points score, and it just keep getting more points and try to move up in the championship.
GP2 Series: You've had almost a classic rookie year, with some issues at the start of the year but eventually got some points, then moved up and up as the season went on: have you been satisfied with how you've improved over the season?
Oliver: Yeah definitely: I didn't get the start I wanted, and we had a few problems in the earlier rounds where things didn't quite go our way, although the pace was there but we didn't maximise it, but I think in the last four or five rounds we've pretty much maximised everything we've had, we're steadily improving and working hard on the car with the team and trying to get stronger, and certainly the qualifying pace has been pretty good but in the races we've struggled sometimes. I'm really pleased today to have had stronger race pace: it's still not strong enough to catch the guys ahead but we're getting there, and I think we can be strong tomorrow.
GP2 Series: You start in P6, ahead of these two, and with some guys ahead of your who, to be fair, aren't really used to being there: what do you think you can achieve?
Oliver: I think we've got to aim for the podium: I think that's achievable, and it is difficult to overtake with quick corners leading onto the straights, but if we get a good slipstream then at the restart I got a really good exit out of Parabolica and got a good run on Jerome, got alongside him into turn one which is probably why he braked quite late [laughs], but I think it is possible to overtake, so I'm aiming for a podium tomorrow.