GP3 Series: Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the first ever press conference of the GP3 Series. Joining us today is our first pole man ever in GP3, Nigel Melker from RSC Mucke, Pal Varhaug from Jenzer, and third placed man Robert Wickens from ...
GP3 Series: Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the first ever press conference of the GP3 Series. Joining us today is our first pole man ever in GP3, Nigel Melker from RSC Mucke, Pal Varhaug from Jenzer, and third placed man Robert Wickens from Status.
Nigel starting with you, a very exciting session. The lead changing a lot of the time, talk us through it, how was it for you?
Nigel Melker: Every lap the times got faster and faster and my last lap felt really good -- the tyre pressure was good, and I put everything together perfectly. It was also my first pole position with Mucke so I am very happy.
GP3 Series: It was very tricky conditions because of the rain overnight, how did you approach the session, and what were you thinking before you went out there?
Nigel Melker: I come from the Netherlands, and in the Netherlands it is always raining so I know that I am best in the rain, so I didn't worry about it.
GP3 Series: You weren't there during the session, you seemed to work your way into it, you weren't setting the early pace, were you just thinking concentrate, keep the car on the road and hope that the time comes?
Nigel Melker: Yes, I tried some different lines and one time I went off the track which was stupid, but I came in to change the tyre pressure and in the end I put everything in the last lap and I kept the gap. I knew that it would all happen in the last lap.
GP3 Series: It all worked out well for you, so congratulations.
Pal congratulations on second place. Talk us through the session form your point of view.
Pal Varhaug: Well from the start I knew all the time that the last lap would be the best time, so I was important to get a lap together. So I knew that I just had to keep up the pace all the time and feel the grip and the track and in the end I made a good lap so I am very happy.
GP3 Series: How do you think it was with the conditions?
Pal Varhaug: At the start it was very slippery, everyone was all over the place and going off the track and it was difficult to drive, and the end of the session some parts of the track were still like that, but for most of time I had really good grip.
GP3 Series: Did you have any more pace or were you just driving within yourself to make sure the car stayed on the track?
Pal Varhaug: Sure I had some more pace, but I had to go a bit faster within myself too. The lap before when I pushed and felt the places where it was very slippery so I was a bit more careful there so I could put a lap together and not make a big mistake. I'm P2 for the first race and very happy.
GP3 Series: Robert congratulation P3 in the first qualifying how was it for you?
Robert Wickens: I was actually surprised by how slowly the track dried, I thought for sure we would be on dries by the end of the session, but in the end P3 is a good to start considering some of the other teams were struggling a little bit. I just have to take it and see what happens during the race.
GP3 Series: It was a strange session because as you say it didn't seem to dry up very fast and then every so often somebody would just go bang and drops the times. How did you approach the session?
Robert Wickens: I just attacked from lap one and every time I crossed the line I saw that I was always in the top three so for me it was a good session but unfortunately the way the timing worked out I was one of the earlier ones to cross the line. But it was difficult session in the last five minutes because that time until the end the track picked up by four seconds and it was actually solid the whole way through so it was hard to adapt. Being third quickest is not too bad.
GP3 Series: You were setting the pace quote a lot long with Gutierrez who of course isn't here, as it turned out it all came down to that last lap and a bit of luck as to where you ended up when you crossed the line. There's nothing really you can do about that but how did you approach it?
Robert Wickens: Yeah I mean my second last lap was pretty strong as well and there was a few cars in front of me and I was just really hoping that they didn't make mistakes and effect my lap, but I really underestimated how much grip there was in the second sector as well as a bit in the third but all in all I cant really complain. I mean when a session is that difficult you just have to take what you can get and move forward.
GP3 Series: It was certainly very exciting for us to watch as well. Great job today well done.