Top Three Quotes, Race Two Mortara, Grosjean and d'Ambrosio discuss the race GP2 Series: Edoardo, congratulations. GP2 winner: how does that sound? Edoardo Mortara: I could not believe it! When I arrived at the end of the race, I could...
Top Three Quotes, Race Two
Mortara, Grosjean and d'Ambrosio discuss the race
GP2 Series: Edoardo, congratulations. GP2 winner: how does that sound?
Edoardo Mortara: I could not believe it! When I arrived at the end of the race, I could really not believe it! These kind of categories are more or less the same: if you do a good weekend without mistakes you have a pretty good chance to arrive in the front in the first race, and if you arrive in the top eight then you have the chance to make a really good result if you have a good start in race two. It was a bit complicated for me, especially yesterday, because I did a pretty good start from 12th after not such a good qualification, and the first two corners I went wide and was down to 18th. But then I came back and I really pushed a lot to arrive sixth, and we were really positive about yesterday because we showed some good pace. We new things were possible today if we had a good start, it was possible to do a good race, so the idea was just to push hard to do a good start, and then to control the others and manage the tyres. And this what we could do, so I'm really happy.
GP2 Series: You didn't have it too easy, with Grosjean behind you for the whole race: how difficult was it to keep him under control?
Edoardo: Actually it was not really, really hard, because I was trying to keep that gap that is bad for him and destroying his tyres, and I was really trying to keep that gap and make life more difficult. There was just that one time when I did a mistake and he nearly passed me at the end of the straight, but without mistakes I knew it was possible to stay in control, especially at the beginning when there was van der Garde, and I was not really worried about the opening laps and was trying to manage the tyres: then I saw him arrive and I thought oh shit, now if I'm not pushing he's going to pass me, and I'll have no chance to win this race! So I pushed like crazy on the fifth and sixth laps to try to put a gap and control it. But that was really it: probably from the outside it looked difficult, but inside the car it was pretty okay because I was doing some constant sectors and laptimes.
GP2 Series: Getting this win will give you a lot more attention now: how important was it for you to get a win this early in the season?
Edoardo: I'm not looking at the attention of the other people, I'm just trying to do good weekend for me: I'm just a rookie, I just arrived, I've not had a lot of testing in the car, and I need to understand a lot of things with these cars, you know? It's really not easy, and I need to work a lot and we're going to see: this weekend was really brilliant, and also we could arrive in the top eight which is really my goal at the beginning of the year, and we just need to keep improving like this.
GP2 Series: Romain, I asked you yesterday if you were thinking about a perfect weekend, and you certainly went very close: how did you see your race today?
Romain Grosjean: Yeah, very good: a very good start, which was a key because I didn't want to take too much risk at the first corner, so I was only P4 when I could maybe have been P3 or P2, then some good overtaking on Guido and Jerome and I arrived behind Edoardo. In the beginning I was trying to save the tyres as much as possible, not pushing but staying behind him, but unfortunately when you are following a car and even when you don't push you use the tyres. I had one opportunity to overtake him but that didn't go well [laughs], I tried but I couldn't, and then I tried again to catch the gap maybe 10 laps from the end and maybe 6 laps from the end I said okay, I'll stay second, because the tyres were going away. Arden had a very good car today, and we did some changes for race two but unfortunately it was a little bit too much. But well, the weekend is fantastic: 18 points is very good, and the other very good thing is that we know what we did wrong with the car today, so now the learning process from race one to race two with the new team went very well, and now we know we went a bit far in race two so next time we won't do that mistake again.
GP2 Series: It was interesting to watch you today, because it really seemed like you were thinking okay, I'll be calm, and then suddenly you almost had to have a go and he made his mistake, you couldn't quite get past, and then you thought be calm again for the championship: is that about right?
Romain: Yeah. I was trying to stay calm when I was P2 but then I said okay, I'll push, I'll try, and then I pushed a bit to close the gap and to make a good exit from the fast corner, and trying to get a bit closer you will always use the tyres a bit, even if you are trying to be careful: basically they remember, they have a good memory! [laughs] And for the five last laps I decided not to do anything because the tyres were going: I could have pushed, but it was too risky.
GP2 Series: Your right front looked pretty awful towards the end...
Romain: No, no, it wasn't too bad: I had some rubber from the track but the front right was okay, but the front left was getting a bit tired. But the main problem was the rear, unlike yesterday: we went the opposite, so we went a bit too far!
GP2 Series: But as you say, it's a very nice position to be in for the championship...
Romain: Yeah: pole, win, fastest lap, and second: okay, it's missing 2 points, but maybe later in the season! [laughs]
GP2 Series: You've got Monaco next: any thoughts for there?
Romain: It will be good, interesting: it's my second time in Monaco so I know the track, which is a good point, and it was very important to make a good start here and get as many points as possible, because you never know what's going on later on. But we'll keep pushing, and I hope we will keep working hard with the team because we had a good weekend, but we don't say we have the best car so we don't have to keep working. I will keep pushing with the team in Monaco to try and score some good points.
GP2 Series: Jerome, two races two podiums: are you satisfied with your weekend?
Jerome d'Ambrosio: Yeah, I think it's a positive weekend: my objective was to come here and be in the top six in qualifying and the top three in race one and then we'll see, because it always depends with the reverse grid, but again another podium, which is brilliant. I think we missed a little bit of speed during the weekend, two or three tenths maybe, but we still managed to get points, and I think that's important in this championship, to still get points when you're not the best. I really think like yesterday we were in between the top two and the rest of the pack: I was still faster than the pack, than Guido and everybody, so I could still pull away from them but I was just a bit too slow to keep up with the front two. I think we are there to fight for podiums but not quite to fight for victories, but we've got to work: I think we're doing a good job at the moment and we've got to keep it up, keep improving to play for more points and for the championship in the end. But I'm satisfied with the weekend, the team have done a good job and we've been very strong in Asia and then come here and scored some good points, so that's good. We've just got to keep it up now, and it's not easy for anyone because it's difficult, and we've got to really keep the concentration at the maximum since January last year because of GP2 Europe, then Asia, and now again Europe: it's a lot of races but the team is doing a good job at the moment, and I think I'm doing the job this weekend, and for a few races in fact. Even if the calendar has been tough we've got to work even double now to play for victory next week.
GP2 Series: The tyres were always going to be an issue today, and it was going to be sensible to be a bit conservative: was that your approach today?
Jerome: No not really, because I think the drop in the tyres were the same as the top guys in the sense that I always had two or three tenths slower than Edoardo and even Grosjean, so I think it was like this for everybody. I think we had a good car for tyre degradation, but just all the tyre we were just a little bit too slow. Nothing much more to say: we're fast but not fast enough yet to make the fight for victory.
GP2 Series: Monaco is next, which is a very, very different circuit: what are your thoughts for there?
Jerome: Monaco will be different: Monaco is always different, you cannot compare Monaco to anything. The tyres will be same as last year, so there's no big concern about that, but Monte Carlo is different, it is a different car: you cannot really do any testing or improve the car there for anywhere else because the car is only valid in Monte Carlo. We'll see: to come back on the tyres, the racing is a bit different from last year, and you have to use your head because there is a certain pace you can keep, and if you go over that pace you just get a big drop in the tyres. It is different but at the moment it works well for us: not perfect, because we haven't won, but in the front which is important, and is a strong start to this season. As I say, the team is working hard and they did the job in Asia, so I'm sure we'll be able to do it in Europe as well.