Catalunya: Race one press conference

Pic, Ricci and Clos discuss the race GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's feature race here in Barcelona. Joining us are race winner Charles Pic from Arden, Giacomo Ricci from DPR, and Dani Clos from ...

Pic, Ricci and Clos discuss the race

GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's feature race here in Barcelona. Joining us are race winner Charles Pic from Arden, Giacomo Ricci from DPR, and Dani Clos from Racing Engineering. Starting with you Charles, congratulations on a fine victory today, your first race in the main series, and your first win: how does it feel?

Charles Pic: Very, very good! It was a great race for me, I took a good start and was a little bit lucky because there was a crash at the first corner so I was able to exit in P2, and it was a little difficult until the pitstop because [Sergio] Perez was very quick and I wasn't able to catch him, but I think he had some problem with his pitstop so I was able to take the lead. After this I was just able to push, push very hard, and the mid race Ricci was very, very fast! [laughs]

He could catch up to me very quickly, so I stayed focused and pushed as hard as I can, and at the end of the race it was a little bit better for me because I was able to keep the same gap. So it was a very good result for all the team, because they made a great effort and worked very hard over winter, so thanks to them it was great!

GP2 Series: As you say, Giacomo was pushing very fast after the stops, and he looked much faster than you: was there a problem, or where you just trying to save the car a little?

Charles: No! I was just pushing as hard as I can, but I think maybe he had less rear degradation than me and so he was able to push a little harder than me, so we have to work on this for the next races.

GP2 Series: Do you think you had enough to be able to challenge Sergio if he hadn't had his problem in the pits?

Charles: I don't know, but Perez seems very fast, and he seems to manage his degradation very well on his rear tyres, so I think for sure it would be hard! So for sure we have to work on this for the next races.

GP2 Series: It's the first victory for Arden since the sprint race here last year, and they've struggled a little since then: how important is this win for the team?

Charles: It's great because they worked very, very hard all winter, and the team have made a fantastic job for this year: I am very, very happy for them.

GP2 Series: Congratulations. Giacomo, a fantastic drive by you today: starting from P12 I guess you wouldn't have even dreamt of a podium today?

Giacomo Ricci: It's a great day for me and for DPR today: I did an amazing start, and when I crossed the corner I looked and went 'oh, I'm in third!' [laughs] I was a little bit surprised, and we took a little bit of a gamble with the set up and it worked out really well, and then when I was behind Pic I pushed like crazy to catch him, and I think I maybe went a little too aggressive on the tyres and I started to have a big understeering, especially in the last part, and then I tried to back off a little bit and then push in the last five laps, but he did a really good job, he never did a mistake, and it was really difficult for me to catch him.

GP2 Series: We didn't see your start, because you were so far back and then suddenly you were in P3! Talk us through you start and the first couple of corners.

Giacomo: I had an unbelievable start! You know, you don't think too much when you are doing a start [laughs], and I moved pretty well and then I said okay, now it's time to run outside of the first corner and I took a big risk and it worked pretty well: I think I was pretty lucky because two or three cars crashed and I just went in the middle, and after the first corner I just went 'oh, I'm third and I started P12!' And for the rest of the race I just tried to attack, and that's it.

GP2 Series: You spent pretty much the whole race looking at his rear wing: how hard is it to overtake on this circuit?

Giacomo: It's pretty hard! Especially because we were for a long time behind somebody and the car starts to lose downforce, and that's the biggest problem, especially when I was behind Charles and my car didn't work so well and we had a big understeering and would make a big snap. In the last corner I was a bit slow, but at the end for me and for the team it is a fantastic result: to finish in race one on the podium is a fantastic result, and I think it is maybe the best result for DPR, at least in the first race.

GP2 Series: I think it's their best result since 2005, in the first series: how important is this for the team?

Giacomo: It's really important! I hope to have the chance to race all season, because at the moment I am just race by race, and I need to say thank you to the team, because everybody did a fantastic job, and I need to thank especially Andre Herck, because every time he gives me the chance to drive the car, and they have made a big improvement since last year and right now are really strong, and now we need to work hard and keep going.

GP2 Series: Congratulations. Dani, and Spanish driver in a Spanish team on a Spanish circuit and on the podium in the first race: how does it feel?

Dani Clos: It feels good: for me it feels like it was first place! I had a pretty good start, and on the first lap I nearly ran into my teammate who was sideways in front of me, and I needed to make a cut across the chicane and so I had my front end a little bit bent, and then I had to drive for the whole race like that, which was really hard because it made the set up completely change. But I am happy: I think I did the right overtakes at the right time without risking so much, and when I had the opportunity I was catching Ricci and I was just pushing, trying to maintain the tyres also, and at the pitstop we were really close to him but I had too much wheelspin at the exit of the pitstop and I was still behind him but I saw that Perez had this problem and I was P3.

Then I was just pushing, and trying to catch him [Ricci], and for some laps I was doing it, but in the end they were too far and Perez had a good rhythm, so I just tried to hold him and keep an eye on him. In the end third place is really good: after last year it's been very hard for me but we started again completely from zero, I changed completely my mind, completely the work, and in the pre-season it's been really good, so I hope for sure that we can continue like this. Tomorrow we start from P6 and we will do our best.

GP2 Series: You're the only guy here who overtook someone after the first lap, when you had your fight with Maldonado: how was that from inside the car?

Dani: Last year I overtook many, many drivers, and now I'm used to overtaking! [laughs] I'm a fighter, but now I'm a fighter with my head, and I don't take risks that I don't have to: GP2 is a hard category, with really good young drivers coming, really good experienced drivers who have stayed, so it's going to be a tough year but it's good to start like this, and I think we can go up from here, so we will try to go.

GP2 Series: You had a very difficult season last year: is this the perfect way to get the new season under way?

Dani: Well it's a good way to start: I won't say if it's perfect but it's a good way to start, and we will start every race from zero. Being here today doesn't mean that it will always be like this, to be on the podium next race we will need to work hard like this, but we will do this to try to always be here.

-source: gp2series

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Andre Herck , Giacomo Ricci , Dani Clos , Charles Pic