Asia: Sepang: Qualifying press conference

GP2 Asia Series: Jerome, congratulations on your first GP2 pole position. How does that feel? Jerome d'Ambrosio: That feels good! You know, to be fast during a race is one thing, but it is nice to just know that you can be fast in qualifying ...

GP2 Asia Series: Jerome, congratulations on your first GP2 pole position. How does that feel?

Jerome d'Ambrosio: That feels good! You know, to be fast during a race is one thing, but it is nice to just know that you can be fast in qualifying on one lap, especially here. It's not an easy track with fast and slow corners... I'm happy to have done it here. I like this track. This is where I scored my first GP2 podium last year.

GP2 Asia Series: At the very beginning of the session you went out on slick tyres...

Jerome: Old slick tyres.

GP2 Asia Series: You went out on "old" slick tyres while Kamui waited in the pits. You were on a reconnaissance lap right?

Jerome: We decided that... The thing is it rained lightly before the start of the session, so I wanted to have two laps to test the track. And when I felt that it was good, I just came back to the pits after two laps and I just said that the track was good. I went out because I wanted to see the track. It was good from the start and a nice way to warm up.

GP2 Asia Series: When you came back after your first stint, you had already fastest lap, but there was still over ten minutes to go. However, you looked extremely calm...

Jerome: I think I'm improving all the time. I made a good step in Bahrain this season, trying to be calmer but with the same determination and it's working. You have to stay calm under these conditions. I knew I was P1 but that I had to stay calm to do this. For sure, the track was going to get quicker and I had to find a good balance between being aggressive and still staying cool.

GP2 Asia Series: Cool in this heat... That must be really difficult!

Jerome: Yeah. It will be a very, very long race tomorrow... Qualifying was a bit easy because it just rained before and the sun behind the clouds, but tomorrow, the race will take place at midday which is the hottest time of the day. Normally here, at that time, it's sunny. So it will be tough and long... not only for the cars, but for us as well.

GP2 Asia Series: Thank you Jerome and good luck for tomorrow. Diego, you were really close to snatching your first pole position. What do you think was missing?

Diego Nunes: Actually, I was improving at every lap. Before my last lap, I backed off because of the traffic and then I pushed again and I managed to put all the three sectors together and until the last corner I was one tenth and a half quicker, but I made a small mistake... I think I had the car to do the pole. It was my mistake. However, I'm still very satisfied: I will start from the front row and it's a great result. We have to work for the race now.

GP2 Asia Series: This morning, both Piquet cars were very fast and again this afternoon in qualifying. You seem to have found the perfect set up for qualifying. Are you going to change it tomorrow for the race?

Diego: Yeah. The car since this morning has been very fast and I believe we will keep the same set up. We have got to have to check the data now, but we will probably going to stay with the same set up.

GP2 Asia Series: Front row tomorrow in front of the F1 paddock. Does that add extra pressure or not?

Diego: No. We have to do a good job here, but I will have to stay calm. Half of the job has been done now with this result. It's always good to start from the front row. So the most important thing will be to remain calm and do a good race.

GP2 Asia Series: What about your strategy for tomorrow?

Diego: It will depend on how the race will go. It will depend on the start and where I'll be after the first lap. I think we will stop in the middle of the race and change the rear tyres like everybody else. But it will be a long race and we will have to see how it goes and maybe adjust to what happens during the first stint.

GP2 Asia Series: Will the rain be welcomed or a bad news?

Diego: Well, I don't know... It will be the same for everybody. If the rain comes, we will have to remain calm and if we don't make any mistake, we will get that podium!

GP2 Asia Series: Thank you Diego. Congratulations James. This is a great result on only your third GP2 Asia race event. Is this your first time on the Sepang track?

James Jakes: It is my first time here actually and I really love the track. We had a problem with the brakes this morning in Free Practice and we haven't been able to test as much as I wanted. Also, in qualifying, we did a run on the old slick tyres to make sure that the brakes were okay. But after that, it was good and the guys had fixed the problem. You can learn this track a little bit on the video games, but a lot of the other guys in the field had been here before so I knew I had to do something good to stand the chance to be in the Top 10. So I went out straight away on slick tyres. There were a couple of guys who followed me out and who were on wet tyres, but slicks was a better option. It all worked nicely.

GP2 Asia Series: What about the weather conditions?

James: It's hot and very sticky! The hardest thing I think is the sweat dripping over your eyes. It's very hot, but I prefer it this way than too cold. I'm not complaining.

GP2 Asia Series: It rained just before the qualifying session started. Were you worried?

James: Not really. The track temperature was so hot that any rain that came down, the track was not going to be too wet. I knew it wasn't going to stay wet for the session. I think for the track to be wet it would have needed to rain a lot more than that.

GP2 Asia Series: What about tomorrow?

James: Tomorrow, we'll see how the weather is and I believe we can have a good race. It will be long and hot. But I'm pretty confident. We can be even a little bit quicker than we have been today in qualifying. I'm looking forward to it.

-credit: gp2

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers James Jakes , Jérôme d'Ambrosio , Diego Nunes