GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for qualifying here at the Hockenheimring. Joining us today from pole position is Giorgio Pantano from Racing Engineering, next to him from second position we have Romain Grosjean...
GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for qualifying here at the Hockenheimring. Joining us today from pole position is Giorgio Pantano from Racing Engineering, next to him from second position we have Romain Grosjean from ART Grand Prix, and on the other side we have third placed man Andreas Zuber from Piquet Sports. Starting with you Giorgio, congratulations on pole position today, your first since Turkey. It looked like you had a fairly easy job today, but how was it from inside the car?
Giorgio Pantano: We did I think a good job in free practice this morning, we working really well together and the car was feeling good: I think we just had the perfect car today for this circuit, so it was easy to do a good lap.
GP2 Series: Your strategy was a little different today from the others, staying out a lap or so longer on your first set of tyres with a clear track: is that what made the difference today?
Giorgio: No, I was just talking with my engineer to know if there was someone going quicker in some sector, and he was telling me that no one was doing better so I wasn't really pushing too hard at that time for the lap.
GP2 Series: Except of course you had a bit of a spin then: was there some problem?
Giorgio: No no, just because I was also pushing a little bit then!
GP2 Series: Strangely no one has managed to win from pole position for a few races now: are you going to be the one to break that pattern tomorrow?
Giorgio: I hope so, I hope so! Also there was a pattern where nobody won a race after winning the weekend before, but we made this one stop in Silverstone, so hopefully I will break this one too!
GP2 Series: You had Romain next to you on the grid, and the pair of your have had some great battles out on track so far this year: what are your expectations for the race?
Giorgio: I think we understand each other, we respect each other: racing is always the first corner, the second corner, and then you go on from there. I think the fight will be fair tomorrow, but also I think I am much better than them too! I can go away tomorrow and that's it! I'm joking of course, but I'm sure it will be okay tomorrow.
GP2 Series: Thanks Giorgio! Romain, congratulations to you too. Fastest in free practice, second in qualifying: happy with your day's work today?
Romain Grosjean: I came to get pole, but was three tenths away from Giorgio unfortunately, but he has a lot of experience so I can be satisfied to be close to him I think. Of course this is still my first season but we are pushing hard, and the team are working hard to get us a little bit faster so we can fight more in the qualifying with him.
GP2 Series: As you say it is your first year in GP2, but of course you won the Euroseries here last year: how much of a difference does it make when you come to a circuit like this which you already know very well?
Romain: It makes a big difference, even if the GP2 line is a bit different: you know which line to use and what to do a bit more, so it helps you a bit more in free practice because you already know the circuit, maybe not the braking points and everything, but it comes much faster than if you have never been to a circuit, like last time with Silverstone.
GP2 Series: What are the differences between your earlier years and GP2: how do those differences manifest themselves?
Romain: It's about ten seconds, more or less! Really there are some places where it is a bit tighter because the car is bigger, and of course the braking is very different, but for me it makes it a bit smoother, so it is a good idea to have driven at a circuit before, a real advantage.
GP2 Series: We are getting quite used to seeing you sitting on this end of the table: do you think there is something missing, something else to do to get you into the middle seat?
Romain: I don't know, but I think maybe experience: this time it is Giorgio, and he has so much experience, and last time it was Bruno who also has good experience as well: in the end we did a good job, and we are working hard to try and be in the middle here for pole position, and of course I was hoping that here we would be a little quicker because I know the circuit, but we are just getting more and more experience this year, and I am sure it will come.
GP2 Series: Congratulations. Andreas, congratulations on third place once again: how was qualifying for you?
Andreas Zuber: It was good, but the car is very difficult to drive at the moment because we are having some problems with the car. It is the driver's job to solve the problems, but after two laps the tyres are finished on the car: we saw it in the last few races where it is okay at the start and then the tyres are finished and we are going slower and slower.
GP2 Series: There was a huge difference between you and Pastor today, and you seemed to be able to live with the car a lot better than he could: is there a difference in set ups between you two?
Andreas: No, they are same, but it is just very hard to keep the car going well: we had one lap time that was good, but the rest of the time not so much. We are working hard like I say, and we hope to improve the car before the race tomorrow, and then we'll see.
GP2 Series: It's a very tight circuit here: did you have any problems with traffic?
Andreas: Not really, no: it was just difficult to drive really, and it is harder in the race. You could see in Silverstone and Magny-Cours that it was just getting slower and slower, but we are working hard to try and fix this problem so that we can fight more with these guys.