Race 2 Press Conference: Spa-Francorchamps 16/09/2007 GP2 Series: Karun, congratulations, you must be delighted. Karun Chandhok: I'm really very, very happy. The car worked really well all through the race. The big key to the race was the...
Race 2 Press Conference: Spa-Francorchamps 16/09/2007
GP2 Series: Karun, congratulations, you must be delighted.
Karun Chandhok: I'm really very, very happy. The car worked really well all through the race. The big key to the race was the first three or four laps at the start. Ho-Pin locked his brakes so late, I think he saw me and pushed me wide, and that's how Andy got ahead. Then I really had to look after the tyres because Andy started killing them. After lap five I could see his tyres were finished, and...
Dave Price: Well done mate
Karun: Thanks very much.
Dave: Bastard! [Laughs]
Karun: [Laughs] Are you going to put that in? So anyway, he started killing the tyres and I knew that as long as I looked after them, with the new tyres on the Sunday race you have to nurse them a little bit in the early stages. I did that and the car came into its own and I could push and pressurise and then I tried to set the move up for a few laps. I watched, had a look to see what I had to do.
Enrique Scalabroni: Congratulations.
Karun: Thank you.
I knew the top of the hill was my best chance because I was quicker than him through Eau Rouge. So the lap that I decided to do it I went through absolutely flat, didn't think twice, and got the tow and went round the outside. It was perfect in the end, and worked out really well.
GP2 Series: The move was incredible. Talk us through it.
Karun: Yeah. I think any move around the outside is a bit of a risk but no risk, no gain. I had to do Eau Rouge flat behind him. Doing it in free air is no problem, but doing it flat behind somebody when you lose the aero is very difficult. I had a go and that's it, went around the outside, braked really late, the rear end started to come around and I just hopped off the brake, just got on the curb and got away with it. We didn't touch and it was clean so fair do's to Andy. He realised I was going to have a go and he was very clean and I have to thank him for that.
Chris Murphy (Giorgio Pantano's engineer): Bloody brilliant, well done!
GP2 Series: How much does this mean to you and to the team? Both you and them seemed very emotional afterwards.
Karun: Very emotional, for sure. They're Italians, and for me it's ideal. For this year the deal happened literally one week before the Ricard test so I went through three months of the winter with no sleep, not knowing what I'm going to do this season. To come away with a win and points every weekend since Budapest shows we are coming on strong. It builds up to a good winter. This weekend there's been a lot of speculation about next year, for India as well, it's the first time I've heard the national anthem at a Formula One Grand Prix, so that's a special feeling as well. It's been live on TV in India so everyone's going crazy back at home. My phone has loads of missed calls already!
GP2 Series: Andy, second today and your first podium in GP2. How does it feel?
Andy Soucek: It's the first but not the last! It was good. I had a great start. Ho-Pin went a bit wide at the first corner so I took the inside line and could accelerate earlier. I tried to pull away in the first laps and until lap 10 the car was working perfectly but then it got a little bit oversteery. I think I pushed a little bit hard and damaged the rear tyres. But it was fantastic. Karun was a little bit quicker in sector one and sector three and down the straight I think he ran a bit less wing, and he was quicker than me in Eau Rouge. He tried to overtake me on the outside and I didn't want to close too hard because we could have a crash and I thought the best thing was to keep my position and finish on the podium.
GP2 Series: You made a perfect start and were fast all the way. You really showed what you could do today.
Andy: Thank you so much. I think that we've been struggling so much all year but I knew I could do much better. I was having lots of meetings with the engineers, and we are now at a set-up I am comfortable with and hopefully for the next race, which is my home race, everything will go even better and if I can score another podium it would be the best finish to the season.
GP2 Series: After all the disappointment this year, it must be really important for the team. How was this picked you all up?
Andy: I think the team was very disappointed after some races. I think we could have got some points in some of them but we had some problems and I made some mistakes like in Monza first race, and after all these problems to get sixth yesterday was already like a win, and they wanted a podium today but they weren't sure. I just asked for their confidence and trust in me. I normally start well in this car, and we did that today and second position is like a dream for us.
GP2 Series: You know Valencia so well and now you know what the team can do. What are you expectations for there?
Andy: The expectations are high but the other guys will not sleep. We have two weeks to work very hard to get a good simulation for Valencia. We don't have F1 rubber and that will change a lot, but I hope we can prepare a good car for the race. I'm just so happy for the team today.
GP2 Series: Lucas, congratulations. You've got the championship gap down to two points going in to Valencia. All in all, a great weekend for you.
Lucas di Grassi: Yes it was a great weekend in terms of the championship. We closed the gap by nine points. It was really important to close the gap at this stage of the championship because we I think the team was really disappointed by what happened in Monza, and it was not their fault, it was just something that happened with two laps to go and we lost eight points. It's a good recovery from Monza, and we go to Valencia split by two points and that's great for the championship.
GP2 Series: You've been really consistent all season. As we move to Valencia are you on all-out attack or levelled consistency?
Lucas: I think the last couple of races I was attacking a lot and since Turkey, when I was two points behind Timo, the aim was to push as much as I could, try to win a race, try to score more points. We go to the last event and you cannot do mistakes, but you have to be at the limit all the time. I think it will be a good fight between me and Timo. Timo is an excellent driver, he has been one of the fastest guys for the whole championship and it's great to be fighting with him and iSport. We were both unlucky in some races and we will go to the last event with equal chances of winning the title.
GP2 Series: What would winning the championship mean to you?
Lucas: It means everything. I've been preparing my whole career for this last race, since I started karting. I'm getting better and better and improving my performance every race I do, and in Valencia I will try to be at my best both mentally and physically. The team I think will do a great job to make the car even better and then we will see which one of us deserves to win the championship.