Quotes for the first GP3 Series RACE press conference.
GP3 Series: Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the press conference for todays GP3 race. Joining us today the first race winner from Jenzer Pal Vauhaug, in second Robert Wickens from Status GP and third place man Esteban Gutierrez from ART.
Paul starting with you congratulations on the fantastic job today, the first ever gp3 series race and you're the winner, how does it feel?
Pal Varhaug: It feels fantastic, it haven't a word for it yet. I never expected that I would win the first race of the year. I'm very very happy, it's unbelievable. I'm happy for me team and all people around me that have supported me and believed in me. To win the first race is amazing.
GP3 Series: I think it's fair to start that it was set up form the start. There was quite a bit of drama going on at the start and in to the first couple of corners. Talk us through it from your point of view.
Pal Varhaug: At the start o was afraid that I wouldn't stall the car or do anything stupid and i got a very start. I was ahead of the others into the first corner so I was more relaxed and just had to race and keep up the pace and not do anything stupid. At the start of the race I slower into the corners and they were always catching me up, but again I figured it out. It was a very good race for me.
GP3 Series: It certainly looked quite easy towards the end, was it as easy as it looked?
Pal Varhaug: It was a bit difficult as I was struggling a bit with understeer, but the car was very good overall for race setup and I was just keeping my tyres and not really pushing too much at the beginning and again it worked out for me and I pulled away. It was very good.
GP3 Series: Robert congratulations. It was a fairly eventful first race, how was it to get on the podium?
Robert Wickens: Yeah it was great and it was also great for Status GP, their first race in a junior formula and we're on the podium so its shows how strong they actually are. From my side, I had a good start but the car in front of me didn't and I had to go around him and nearly hit him so that affected my start pretty seriously. Luckily I managed to hold onto second into the first corner and that's basically it. I mean I had a really got run at one stage but there was a yellow flag so I couldn't really do anything. From that point on I was just trying to push as hard as I could but it got to the point where my tyres just fell away for the last five laps and that's when Esteban and myself had some fun.
GP3 Series: Going into the first race what was the thought process behind maintaining the car, I mean you know the car but it's never been raced before.
Robert Wickens: Yeah we attempted to do a race in testing and it went very well so from that we had a bit of idea about what we were going to do and just went for it. Unfortunately we didn't go into the first corner in the lead as I was pretty confident we could've built a bit of a gap but unfortunately it didn't work out. Second and eight points is solid and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.
GP3 Series: You obviously had a good fight with Esteban at the end, how difficult was it to hold him off?
Robert Wickens: Luckily I was strong at the last corner off the straight so that was the main passing zone covered and from there I just had to make my car wide and it was pretty good.
GP3 Series: Esteban congratulations on the podium today. You had a very strong start and you got past a few cars, but then you couldn't really do much about this guy here.
Esteban Gutierrez: Yes the start was quite good, but through the race it was a bit complicated. It was the first race for everybody and of course you have to adapt to the way the car handles in the race because it is very different. It is hard to run behind another car and difficult to prepare a good point of overtaking and Robert was really good in the chicane so we had to work to catch up for the start of the straight which was the second point of overtaking.
GP3 Series: It's a very difficult circuit to overtake, did you just keep pushing and hope you would a chance?
Esteban Gutierrez: Yes i mean the track doesn't suit overtaking but of course it is possible. Every lap you keep putting pressure on the guy in front and hope you can make a move. We were very good on the brakes so I think today if we had had a good last corner it would've been a good place to overtake. We have to keep working its the first race for everybody and it was very important to do an intelligent race to be in the points because in the end everybody is thinking about the championship. I am really happy and grateful to the team because in the morning it was a bit disappointing with the qualifying. We hope that tomorrow we can score a few more points for the championship.
GP3 Series: After qualifying you must have still been hoping you could get on the podium.
Esteban Gutierrez: Yes of course we analysed everything and trying to put the car in the best circumstance for these conditions and in the end it was a very positive day. So we will keep working and try to be competitive for every race and try to win some races.