Silverstone Feature race press conference
Bianchi, Vietoris and Ericsson discuss the race
GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's feature race here in Silverstone. Joining us today are race winner Jules Bianchi from Lotus ART, in second place we have Christian Vietoris from Racing Engineering, and in third place we have Marcus Ericsson from iSport International. Jules, congratulations on your first win in GP2: how does it feel?
I will take it race by race to see what happens...
Jules Bianchi: Really good! It was a tough race: the beginning was quite tough with the rain conditions, which was really bad, but it was safety car start which was easier for me, and after that I made a big gap to I think 8 seconds, but after the stop I was really slow. Christian pitted earlier and he was really quick, so we had a small fight (laughs) which was quite good, really fair, and in the end I finished first so it was a good strategy. I think maybe we could do better pitting one lap before, but I'm really happy: I really want to thank the team because the car was really good, we were quick in both conditions, rain and dry, and this was important. Now we will work tonight for tomorrow, because we still have to improve a bit, and we'll see.
GP2 Series: It's always hard to set up a car for these conditions, but as you say you had the pace in both the wet and dry: how were the tyres in both conditions?
Jules: Obviously it was a lot better in the rain than when the track dried up, because I was a bit slow, and the behaviour of the car was a bit forced but still good: I could do a gap with Christian after our fight, so at the end I think we were really well balanced.
GP2 Series: How important is this victory for you and the team after everything that has happened so far this year?
Jules: Really important, because at the beginning of the season, which was quite difficult for me, it was important to show everybody that we are still here, we are still fighting for the victory if maybe not for the championship because we are quite far away, but anyway I will do my best, I will take it race by race to see what happens, but for sure it's good for everybody that they can see that we are here.
GP2 Series: Christian, congratulations on P2 today after a very interesting race for you with a couple of fights: how was it for you inside the car?
Christian Vietoris: It was pretty good! It started good already yesterday in qualifying, and at the beginning (today) I was stuck behind Parente a little bit, which was quite hard because the view was not so good behind his car! Finally I managed to pass him on lap 5 or 6 and then I could follow Bianchi quite well. I think we made the right call to get in early to the pits to change for slicks, and then I was used to the track conditions and my tyres were warmed up already, so I could follow Jules quite well and we had a really good fight! I still remember some good racing from Formula 3 so we respect each other, and I think you could see today it was pretty good! I am now just looking forward to tomorrow.
GP2 Series: It was a great fight: as you say, you made the right call on the stop and it all came together. It was great to watch, but how was it be in the middle of it?
Christian: I just enjoyed, it, to be honest! (laughs) I just saw the replay a few minutes ago, and it looks quite good on TV as well! (laughs) I really enjoyed it: it was good fun.
GP2 Series: How were the tyres today, considering the conditions?
Christian: On the set up we made a good call on the grid to go sort of halfway, and that meant we were quite competitive in wet conditions and, let's say, okay in the dry conditions. I destroyed a bit my front left tyre behind Jules, and that cost me at the end some performance so I need to drop back a bit and cool down and relax a little bit. And then I thought Marcus is coming up, so I needed to go again! But P2 is quite a good result for me: it could have been a bit better with a little bit of luck, but I think we're on a good way. We have some room to improve, that's for sure, but today we showed that we can do a good job.
GP2 Series: After the difficult times the team has had this year, I guess this is a huge boost for them?
Christian: Yeah, of course. It has been a very hard season for us, and for ART as well I think, but today was important: it gives a little bit of a push for the whole team, and for me as well, and I think we still have room to improve, we know where we have to work on, but let's see. The next one is my home race, so I'm looking forward to that one as well!
GP2 Series: Marcus, congratulations on P3 today: it's a while since we've seen you here! Happy with your job today?
Marcus Ericsson: Yeah, I think it was a good day! All weekend it has been good for me, and also in pre-season testing here I was very quick, so for some reason at this track it is just working really well, and I showed that today!
GP2 Series: You seemed to be falling back a little on the wets, but had the pace on the dries: is that how it felt for you?
Marcus: Yeah, we took a bit of a gamble and left quite a lot of the dry set up on, because we thought it was going to dry up quite quickly: I managed to get past Chilton at the beginning, on the first lap, but after that I started to overheat my rear tyres and there was a bit of a queue behind me for a few laps! We were losing a lot of time, so the team was on the radio asking when can we pit? Because obviously I needed to look at the conditions, and I made the decision to pit with the team: it was a bit of a gamble as well because we were the first ones in, but in the end it was a good decision because when people started to stop two laps later it was really easy to overtake them! The first couple of corners when they had cold tyres and it was damp it was quite easy to overtake, so it was a good call from me and team, and I'm really happy!
The big thing was that my rain tyres were overheated massively...
GP2 Series: How do you make that call? Do you weight up how many laps are left and how long the tyres will last, or just look at the how you were dropping back?
Marcus: No, we didn't really worry about how the tyres would hold for the rest of the race, because we were thinking they were going to last quite well. The big thing was that my rain tyres were overheated massively, and I was losing so much time: I was going to lose a lot of positions if I stayed out anyway, so we had to go into the pits sooner or later. I felt that parts of the track were quite dry, so we thought why not? We had to do something: this time it worked out, sometimes it doesn't, but it was a good thing to do.
GP2 Series: And it's a good result for you and the team considering your problematic start to the season...
Marcus: Yeah, it's been tough! (laughs) We were quite quick in pre-season testing, but we've struggling a bit: the car is always quite good, and the team has done a good job, but I've had some bad luck and made some mistakes myself which have hurt me, so we haven't scored as many points as we hoped, but this is a good start for the second half of the season, to improve and to score more points.
by: gp2 series