Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the GP3 Series qualifying press conference. Joining us today is poleman Esteban Gutierrez from ART, Renger van der Zande from RSC Mucke Motorsport and Nico Muller from Jenzer. GP3 Series: Esteban...
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the GP3 Series qualifying press conference. Joining us today is poleman Esteban Gutierrez from ART, Renger van der Zande from RSC Mucke Motorsport and Nico Muller from Jenzer.
GP3 Series: Esteban congratulations, a strong pole position but it certainly wasn't easy.
Esteban Gutierrez: Yes it was very competitive and tricky with the drafts you can do at this track. We had really good communication with the team to get on track at the right point and be on a good slip stream. Also, not thinking too much about the championship and thinking about it as a normal race weekend the same as any during the season. So yes it was very important and still is to keep a cool head. We have two races still to go and hopefully we will finish with another victory.
GP3 Series: How did approach the session? It was early in the morning so it was cold out, and with a circuit like this there is lots of shadow.
Esteban Gutierrez: Yes it was difficult because sometimes you have the sun in the front and it's difficult to get the reference. Basically with the laps you start to get new references in the morning, and it's tricky with the change of light, but in the end it was a good session. Very competitive and in the end we accomplished our goal we had from the beginning of the season.
GP3 Series: Yes, and the pressure is off now, so what will you be thinking going into the final two races?
Esteban Gutierrez: Well I will keep the same mentality. For the pressure I try to think about it all. Today I tried not to think about the championship. For the races we just need to be intelligent, to try to be fair and have good competition because this is our passion.
GP3 Series: Renger congratulations, your best qualifying. You must be happy with your performance around here?
Renger van der Zande: With the position today, I mean I've had a fairly soar season and you are only as good as your last race so let's see this afternoon. It was a good qualifying and it is quite a lot about managing your slip stream around here. I like this track. I'm not feeling great about the season so to have a last qualifying in second is good.
GP3 Series: Right at the end of the session, what was so different about your lap?
Renger van der Zande: I think I was P3/4/5 all session. I lost a few places when I had to back off for yellows, but it was just about managing the slip stream to get the perfect tow. I don't think we are sp great on the top speeds so it was the only possibility to gain time. At the end I manage well on the last lap -- there was a three car group in front of me.
GP3 Series: This afternoon you will start on the front row, what's your plan?
Renger van der Zande: We will see, there is only one guy in front of me and he is quick here so I will see what happens in the first corner and take it from there. I watched the BMW race and there was a big changing of positions so I think it will be a race where you have to be smart and a bit conservative maybe.
GP3 Series: Nico congratulations on P3 and it was pretty close today.
Nico Muller: Yes we were pretty on it all the time and the team helped a lot to find a good spot on the track. We were unlucky in the second half of the session with new tyres. There were yellow flags so it was hard to get a lap, but I got a good slip stream and managed to get a good lap which was very important. I am happy with P3 for the moment but of course there is a lot to happen in the race.
GP3 Series: You seemed to have a lot of speed today, but there was a point before your stop when you slowed. What happened with that?
Nico Muller: I had a good slip stream that's why I was quick, but out of Ascari one guy made a mistake and I caught him up and he blocked me a bit. I still tried to go fast and get past but I ended up in the gravel bed and there is nothing you can do. I managed to get out without any damage and we decided to change tyres then.
GP3 Series: It would've made any difference to the overall times I don't think.
Nico Muller: Yes, the time would've been pretty good, but in the end everybody went quicker so it doesn't really matter. But vote of confidence isn't there if you go when trying to push hard, but you have one or two more laps and it's okay again.
GP3 Series: You're third in the standing's and starting P3 today, what are your thoughts on the race?
Nico Muller: I will try to get as many points as possible. I hope the start won't be too messy and then I will try as hard as I can and hopefully finish on the podium or win the race.