The 21year-old Austrian on his spectacular qualifying performance (P7) and on his his learning process with Venezuela GP Lazarus:
You have returned back home from Malaysia with a lot of positive impressions and, I am sure, with a lot of self confidence… "It is always a good feeling when you can manage to exceed the expectations and this was definitely the case in Sepang.
It was your fourth race weekend in GP2 after spending three years in German F3… "My career went a bit different, as my family put a lot of emphasis on school education which was good. But for a few years it limited my time for racing as I was in a boarder school of the wood-technical college Kuchl (Austria).
Anyway, I have been working hard over the last two years, especially since I took the chance of becoming an official GP2 driver. And now I am happy to be here."
…as one of the strongest rookies in the championship. So what are your ambitions for 2013 with your team Venezuela GP Lazarus? "As my engineer says: We want to grow step by step and continue our progress. Everybody knows how difficult it is to compete with drivers who have been in GP2 for three or four years, but on the other hand side it is increadible how much you can learn when you have professional people around you."
No other race car is closer to an F1 than a GP2, considering that you are on very similar Pirelli tyres. So tell us your thoughts about the new compounds and the challenge of tyre management in general… "In my opinion Formula 1 and GP2 have changed in a very positive way in the last few years – mainly thanks to Pirelli, whose tyres require a mature approach from a driver and not just aggressiveness.
Qualifying is still about pure speed but a clever tyre strategy in the race can still make the difference. The conditions in Malaysia provided a big test for our new tyres but we learned our lesson and will now look to improve our balance and race pace for the upcoming races."
Thanks and good luck for the next races in Bahrain!