GP3

Istanbul: Qualifying press conference

GP3 Series: Welcome to the press conference of today's qualifying session here in Istanbul. Pole position man RSC Mucke's Nigel Melker, second place Esteban Gutierrez from ART and third Dean Smith from Carlin. Nigel, two events two poles, how...

GP3 Series: Welcome to the press conference of today's qualifying session here in Istanbul. Pole position man RSC Mucke's Nigel Melker, second place Esteban Gutierrez from ART and third Dean Smith from Carlin. Nigel, two events two poles, how does it feel?

Nigel Melker: I didn't expect this at all and I'm really happy. I woke up this morning and looked out the window and saw everything was wet so I thought maybe it would be the same condition as in Barcelona, but the temperature is much higher here so it was quick to dry. It's also my first time on this track.

GP3 Series: How did you approach qualifying?

Nigel Melker: I didn't expect anything. Yesterday I was fourth and I was happy with that, also my teammate Renger van der Zande did some good sector times and I put everything together for the lap time today.

GP3 Series: How do the team help you with qualifying?

Nigel Melker: We didn't change anything on the car; we were only working on braking so we just checked data beforehand.

GP3 Series: Esteban congratulations. You seemed to have a problem when you came in for your pit stop but still managed to finish the session in second place.

Esteban Gutierrez: Yes we feel very happy because of course P2 is a very good result to start the race on the front row is a big advantage. We have been doing good starts so we are looking forward to the race, it will be very interesting, very competitive. It's a bit frustrating with the problems we had yesterday and today. Thank god we were able to continue the session which was very important, but I lost a bit of time and I only had one lap when I went out again. It was a bit challenging. We have a good consistent car and have been improving race by race, last race it was P7 this race it is P2 so I hope next race it will be P1.

GP3 Series: What was going on in your pit stop? There was a lot of activity.

Esteban Gutierrez: Yes we had some problems electronically with the gears, the car wasn't engaging first gear so I couldn't go, and yesterday it happened the same so we are going to look in to it because we don't want to have this problem with the race.

GP3 Series: What were you thinking when you went back out and didn't have much time?

Esteban Gutierrez: Well it's very important to keep a cool head as a driver, and it's good for me to have this kind of problem because it's good training. It's challenging to have only one lap and try to prepare one lap and be clever and except that it is P2 and save the tyres.

GP3 Series: Dean congratulations. You were up there during the session, but not quote at the top, but then on the last lap you seemed to come out of nowhere.

Dean Smith: Yes it went really well. At Barcelona we struggled with the car set up with the F1 rubber it changed the car quite dramatically but then looking at that race weekend we looked through the data very hard and changed the car totally for this weekend. In practice it was all good but the throttle was sticking open at 10 percent so I could see quote a lot of time there that I could gain for today. Then today I just had the approach of getting pole. First set of tyres I got up into fourth and then when I went onto the second set of tyres there was a lot of traffic so I never pushed, I just conserved the tyres and then on the last lap I pushed pretty hard and got third.

GP3 Series: How important is it for you to get a good result in quail like this?

Dean Smith: It's extremely important. Winning two championships and coming seconds in two other championships I know you have to be very consistent, but when you've got the chance to win you've got to win. I've got a very consistent car every single lap I can match the time. We've got a few little tweaks to make but the team are doing a really good job.

-source: gp3 series

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