GP2 Series press release
Vietoris, Filippi and Pic discuss their qualifying session
GP2 Series: Welcome to qualifying press conference here in Spa. Joining us today poleman Christian Vietoris for Racing Engineering. In second place we have Luca Filippi for Scuderia Coloni and in third place we have Charles Pic for Barwa Addax Team. Starting with you Christian. Congratulations. Awesome job today. Talk us through your session...
Christian Vietoris: It is a big moment for me, for sure. We are very fast in wet conditions especially. And we show during the whole session as soon as the first stint that we were already faster than everybody else and then we improved in the second one on the second set of tyres. I’m pretty comfortable in wet conditions. We are working in the right direction and everything looks good.
GP2 Series: How did the wet tyres behave today?
Christian: Quite well. We have a consistent car and it felt good throughout the whole session. I had the perfect car today and we even improved from this morning’s practice session.
GP2 Series: Can you talk us through your very last lap today?
I had the perfect car today and we even improved from this morning’s practice session.
Christian: I had two very good first and second sectors. I had to back off in the third one because of the yellow flags quite a lot which you can see clearly on the data. We had confirmation yesterday during the drivers’ briefing that you had mini-sectors within each sector. I backed off quite a lot which you can see on the data. I cannot do more than that. The track clearly improved which you can see on the times. I had some extra pace but I backed off in the third sector which you have to do when there is yellow flags. I’m still the quickest today.
GP2 Series: What do you think made the difference today?
Christian: The car (He laughs). And I’m comfortable in the wet. At Hungaroring we were fast as well but we made some mistakes. It’s a shame so we will try to do it here.
GP2 Series: What about tomorrow? Which track conditions would you prefer?
Christian: If you see my pace in wet conditions, then of course I would prefer a wet track, but on dry conditions, when you start from the front, it’s easier. So we will see...
GP2 Series: Thank you Christian and good luck for tomorrow. Luca, P2 today. It’s a good result, but it looked like you had the pace for pole...
Luca Filippi: I’m happy because now it is the third consecutive first row in three races with Coloni so it is great. It’s a bit of a shame that we could not get pole position once however. Today we had a good chance to take it again, but there was a yellow flag in my last lap and I had to lift it. I don’t know if I would have been able to take pole, but for sure I was improving and I decided to stay safe and slow down. It is very good anyway because starting from the first row tomorrow gives us a good chance to go for the win.
GP2 Series: How tricky were the track conditions?
Luca: Not really. It was quite consistent and improving a bit. It’s the best you can expect from a rainy day. Not like this morning that was a real big disaster because it was changing all the time. This afternoon, it was very consistent and the circuit was also ok in rainy conditions. The asphalt is working well so it’s ok.
GP2 Series: Which would be best tomorrow: wet or dry?
Luca: Well... Normally I prefer the dry, but at the moment with the good pace we have, the wet is ok. For sure, starting from P2 it would be good to have quite a clean weather. Either dry or wet. But not a mix...
GP2 Series: How did the tyres behave for you?
Luca: It was okay. There was a bit of graining at the front so we need to adjust the balance a little bit. We don’t have a problem with the tyres here. We will manage the pitstop if it’s wet looking at other drivers especially at the back. If it’s dry, so far, with the temperature, the tyre wear looks very good. It’s not going to be a big issue here.
GP2 Series: What will be the key tomorrow?
Luca: You need to be fast here because sure the strategy is important but if you are faster you can overtake. You need to have the pace and that’s it.
GP2 Series: Thank you Luca. Charles, P3 today. Good job. But you had an early stop to your session. Do you think you could have improved even more?
Charles Pic: For sure we had like two good laps to do. I made the first one and I moved to P1. I decided to slow down for one lap and when I was preparing to push for my second fastest flying lap I had a problem with the engine. First I was thinking that it was the engine, but maybe it was not this. I don’t know yet. The team has to look. It’s like that. For sure we were able to do better because the track was improving like Christian said. It was drying up quite quickly. But anyway, P3 is a good place to start tomorrow. Now we have to be focused on tomorrow and see how the weather will be because we are not sure on this also. We have to work and prepare a good solution for both situations.
GP2 Series: What about the track conditions today?
Charles: For qualifying it was not easy because when we started it was really wet and the forecast said that as the session progressed it would be even worse. And it was in fact the opposite. We just had to adapt and especially here in Spa, all the white lines and the kerbs had no grip at all. It was very slippery and tricky.
GP2 Series: What are your hopes for tomorrow?
Charles: For tomorrow, like I said, P3 to start is a good position. So I will try to get a good start and if it’s dry, the main issue will be to have a good balance and a good tyre degradation. We will work on this. If the track is wet, since we are starting in front it will be a bit easier. And after I think we will be careful with the front tyres because they seem to be suffering a bit here. Since we have already used two sets today... We will try to be soft on them. Tyre management will be key anyway no matter the track conditions. I’d prefer a dry track anyway because when it is raining, there are more factors involved. It’s simpler. But if it’s wet, we will have to deal with it!