Ericsson, van der Garde and Herck discuss the race GP2 Series: Marcus Ericsson, GP2 race winner: how does that sound? Marcus Ericsson: It sounds quite good to me! [laughs] It was amazing to be standing on top of the podium after this weekend,...
Ericsson, van der Garde and Herck discuss the race
GP2 Series: Marcus Ericsson, GP2 race winner: how does that sound?
Marcus Ericsson: It sounds quite good to me! [laughs] It was amazing to be standing on top of the podium after this weekend, I mean after Friday I could even dream of winning a race, starting from last, absolutely last! It shows that you should never give up in the category: anything can happen, and if you have a good car and the team's doing a good job then you can do anything! The two races were amazing: yesterday was a perfect race and the team did a perfect job in the pits, so to take the first points for Super Nova yesterday was super great, and obviously we knew we had a good position to start today.
I was really fired up to take a good start, because I knew that if I made a good start I had the race in my hands, so I was really fired up and focused at the start, and I said 'I'm going to take this!' And I did a good start, I managed to overtake Michael into turn one, and then obviously there was a big crash after the start with my teammate Josef [Kral] involved, and the most important thing is that Josef is okay, no matter what the result was. I've heard he's in pain but okay, and that's the most important thing.
After the start we had a long, long time behind the safety car, and you didn't really know what the tyres and the brakes were like because everything was so cold!
GP2 Series: Did the team mention the safety car line?
Marcus: Yeah, and I actually watched it many times last night and this morning on the video, so I knew that I had to make a good jump when I went, and I did, and I thought I braked quite early but the brakes on this car are carbon fibre, and you need to have the heat in them to make them work, and mine were not really working! [laughs] I was going 'I can't stop, I can't stop!' but I was in first gear and went a bit wide and got around before the other guys arrived, but it was a bit of a hard moment! [laughs]
But after that I think I had quite good control: Giedo was always keeping the pressure on and pushing me, but I know Giedo quite well and he is a very good driver, very consistent, and I also know he won't do anything stupid and he is a very clean racer. So I was keeping my head cool and focussing on my thing, and in the middle of the race I had my gap and it wasn't a problem, but then later to be honest I started to think a little bit towards the end of the race, which is not a great thing to do! [laughs]
I lost a bit of focus and made a few mistakes, and then Giedo was all up in my gearbox again! So I just said to myself 'okay, focus, qualifying and focus', and I knew if I just did the perfect laps then he wouldn't be able to overtake me because I was quick enough to keep him behind. So I focussed, and the last few laps he wasn't really close enough to make an attack.
It's fantastic to take the first points for Super Nova this season, and also of course to make the first win for them too, because they are a top team and they belong in the top. To be honest with you the car has been quick enough all year to be on top, but it's a steep learning curve and we are two rookies, so it's difficult. We've also been unlucky with some technical problems, and I've made a few mistakes as well, but I hope this will be the turning point for the season, and we can now fight for more podiums and victories. That's what we're here for.
GP2 Series: We know that the Swedish motor racing fans are a bit mad [laughs], and I think this is the first major race victory since Bjorn Wirdheim: have you heard from the yet?
Marcus: Yeah, I've had like 28 missed calls and 30 messages or something like that, so I guess some people have noticed already! [laughs] I will watch what all the people say because I have a fantastic fan base back home in Sweden, and even in the hard times of this season they keep supporting me and writing good things about me and sending me nice messages, and these things make me want it even more. I couldn't believe how many people were interested in me when I started in GP2, and I am so happy about the support from home.
GP2 Series: Giedo, P2 and another strong race and bunch of points: happy with your efforts today?
Giedo van der Garde: Yeah I'm pleased, starting fifth and ending second: I think it was a good start and a good first lap, I overtook Herck and then we had the big safety car, which was quite long, and in the end I think I was quicker than Ericsson but I have to say he drove quite well and didn't do any mistakes, he had to be quick where he had to be quick, so in the end it was hard to overtake. But anyway, I think second place is good, ten points for the weekend so every weekend we do one more point, and if we do it like this we'll be strong.
GP2 Series: I was going to say that you've been racking up the points but not necessarily on the podium all the time: is it going to be the kind of championship where you just have to keep chipping away at the points?
Giedo: I think so. At the moment you see that Maldonado is doing quite well, he is quick and he is taking good points every weekend, so I think it's going to be a championship like this, where points means prizes.
GP2 Series: A nice podium for the team at their home race as well...
Giedo: Yeah, it's nice for them: it would have been a bit better to win, but I think the team did a good job this weekend and we were quick all weekend, and now we just have to focus on the next one.
GP2 Series: Michael, P3 and your first podium today in the main series: you must be delighted!
Michael Herck: Yes, I am quite happy because it is the first one for me, as you say, and I'm a little bit sad to miss the start and this is where we have to improve a lot: in race one I already lost 3 positions, and in this one I lost only one but it was not a good start. But after this, during the race it was not as fast as I was in Turkey, so it was really difficult to follow van der Garde and Ericsson, and on the last lap as you saw Maldonado tried to overtake me! [laughs]
Fortunately it was the last lap so I blocked him on the last corner, but he was really hard to keep there: one lap more it would be really hard to keep this position! [laughs] For me, for the team, it's a good thing: each weekend we are in the points now, and that is good improvement in comparison to last year.
GP2 Series: As you said, the other two got past you and then you were in P3, and you had the restart: how did you approach that?
Michael: You are a little under pressure! [laughs] Mostly you think to be as quick as you can, because you know the others behind you are quite quick and I wasn't as quick as expected before this, and after you know at the end of the race the car will be hard to drive because the tyres will be a little bit gone, so I had to think to preserve a little bit the tyres. You can do this when you are a long way ahead, but it is really hard when you are in my position today: you have to think about a lot of things!
GP2 Series: Was the problem at the end, when Pastor caught you, just the result of old tyres or something else?
Michael: I think so, yes. Maldonado was going faster and faster, and I saw him coming, coming nearer to me every lap, and I think for sure that 2 laps more and it would be really hard to keep him behind! On the last straight he touched me a little bit, but I just arrived and it was good for me and for the team to hold this third place, ahead of Maldonado.
GP2 Series: Giacomo had a podium a few races ago, and now you: how is the team reacting to this?
Michael: Yeah, it's good for the team and it shows everybody that DPR has improved a lot during the season: I think in some races me and Giacomo can be together in the top ten, and this is always the target. The target is not yet to win, because we need something more that we don't have at the moment, but next time I'm sure one of us or both can be there again, in the top 8 and maybe a podium, and to find some more points.