GP2 Series: Lucas, a wonderfully mature race while others were going off around you to record your second win this season and round out a perfect weekend for the team with two wins at their home circuit: how does it feel? Lucas di Grassi: It...
GP2 Series: Lucas, a wonderfully mature race while others were going off around you to record your second win this season and round out a perfect weekend for the team with two wins at their home circuit: how does it feel?
Lucas di Grassi: It feels really good! The car was really fast today so after the start I was second, and after that I knew that Grosjean was risking too much so when he overtook me I just stayed there waiting for something to happen: if nothing happened I would just start pushing because I knew my car was getting quicker and quicker, but fortunately both of them went out and I got the lead. After that I opened a huge gap to second place before the safety car, and after the safety car I pushed for two or three laps as well to get the fastest lap of the race, opened up a five second gap to second place, and after that it was quite easy to stay in front. The car was much better today: we had many problems this weekend, especially in qualifying which was my worst qualifying in maybe two years of qualifying, so after that to get 12 points and a win is a good result.
GP2 Series: Particularly on a weekend like this when there were so many dramas yesterday, which brings you into championship contention: are you thinking about that yet?
Lucas: If there is a mathematical chance then we will try to do it, but it's very difficult: Pantano is very far away and it's not that he's slow. He's very fast, he was on pole yesterday and didn't win by let's say luck, because if they had maybe one kilo more fuel they would have finished the race P1 and opened a bigger gap, so definitely he's going to be very quick in Spa and Monza, so we will have to work very, very hard to get it.
GP2 Series: This race seemed to show a lot of the maturity that you have brought to the team since you returned: would you agree with that?
Lucas: I think so: I'm trying to develop the team and develop the car as much as I can, for my benefit and the team's benefit because that's my job here. It's very clear that the team is progressing, because also Vitaly did a good job here yesterday and in qualifying, so it's good: if the team goes faster then I go faster, so it's a win / win situation.
GP2 Series: With two rounds remaining the team has two wins here, and Spa and Monza are just around the corner, which is a good position to be in...
Lucas: Yeah, Spa was good for me last year, I finished both races on the podium, so we're expecting to be strong there and see what happens.
GP2 Series: Luca, second today for your first podium since Magny-Cours: you must be delighted.
Luca Filippi: Yeah I'm really happy! I really wanted this podium because I was starting from pole, but apart from the podium I showed that my pace was good, especially at the end. I was fast at the beginning and pulled away a bit, and then my rear went off and I had some rear locking and was losing a lot under braking, and Grosjean came closer. After the fight with him I was second, and there was a safety car, and after that my front suspension was bent and I needed some laps to learn about that, but after that I was the fastest car on the track in the last five laps. This is pretty good and gives me a lot of confidence before we go to Spa and Monza, which are my favourite circuits.
GP2 Series: Obviously the moment everyone is talking about was the collision between you and Grosjean, when you had a strong fight before coming together: how did you see it from inside the car?
Luca: To me he always acts like that, he always stays on the outside to pass or to defend, and then suddenly he closed the door: when you have somebody on the inside who can't disappear then you have to leave him the space to go around the corner, and he would have been on the inside for the next one. If you make a mistake and are on the outside, normally the wall is a bit closer, so it's easier to go in that.
GP2 Series: It's been quite a good weekend for you and the team: does this vindicate the change of teams for you?
Luca: I'm really happy with all the guys in the team, and this is since the first race in Germany not just because we got a podium: I'm really happy with them since the first race because Arden are a really good group, the atmosphere is really good, and Spa and Monza were my best weekends last year so I really can't wait.
GP2 Series: Qualifying was a lot better for you here, and as you say your favourite tracks are coming up: what can we expect from you?
Luca: I expect last year's Luca Filippi, or race two Luca Filippi: aggressive, and fast from free practice. This is what I expect, and this is my target.
GP2 Series: Jerome, fantastic drive in difficult conditions to record your first podium in the main series: how does it feel?
Jerome D'Ambrosio: It's good, and we had a great weekend: we were quick, we put everything together, and you can see the result of it here.
GP2 Series: You have been really fast here, and you've had a number of races where you've been quick but just outside of the points...
Jerome: This is what we worked on, to put everything together: GP2 isn't just about going fast, you need everything working, and this is what we needed to work on. We can see the result here, and that's pretty encouraging for the future.
GP2 Series: What do you put the small difference down to between the previous races and here?
Jerome: Hard work, get used to the car, work with the team and continue to work physically, which is an important part of GP2 success: just keep on working.
GP2 Series: In the race you were closing in on Filippi, but then it looked like you pulled up a little: were you just holding on for the podium finish?
Jerome: No, no, I think I was just on the edge in the end: I pushed hard in the beginning on the car and the tyres, and it was getting very difficult in the end for the tyres, so it was that.
GP2 Series: The team has had quite a lot of bad luck over the last few races: what does this result mean to them?
Jerome: It just shows if you keep on fighting, keep on working, keep on moving forward then you'll make it, so I think it's a good motivation for the future: we will have some hard moments I'm sure, but if you keep on looking forward and working then the results come.