Hungaroring: Qualifying press conference

GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here at the Hungaroring. Joining us today from pole we have Lucas di Grassi from Fat Burner racing Engineering, next to him is Vitaly Petrov from...

GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here at the Hungaroring. Joining us today from pole we have Lucas di Grassi from Fat Burner racing Engineering, next to him is Vitaly Petrov from Barwa Addax Team and in third is Javier Villa from Super Nova. Starting with you Lucas, congratulations. This is your first pole position since you started GP2. How does that feel?

Lucas di Grassi: Really good. I think it is my first pole. I must have maybe eight second places and ten third places in qualifying, but I was never on pole. I was always very close, especially in 2007 I think I was always close, but never enough to do pole. So everything went well this weekend. The car looks really, really, good. So I'm really happy with this result. At least, it's two points in my pocket for pole position.

GP2 Series: You have been fast since the beginning of the weekend. This circuit seems to suit your driving pretty well...

Lucas: I just like it here. I mean as far as I like high speed circuits like Spa and Turkey, not necessarily this track. But for some reasons I've always been fast here. In 2007 I finished twice fourth with ART. Last year, I won the feature race with Addax, Campos at that time. So we've improved the performance of the car since the beginning of the season and what happened today is just the result of our hard work: trying to make it better all the time and trying to catch up with the leaders.

GP2 Series: What about the track conditions?

Lucas: It was 44C on the track when we started the session this afternoon. It was really, really hot. You can't imagine how hot it is inside of the car. And we had quite a good performance already in hot conditions when we were in Turkey on the second race this year. And when you drive, you don't feel how hot it is. You just concentrate on driving and trying to do your best. But when you stop after you can really feel it's really hot. And you sweat a lot and you lose a lot of fluids. You have to drink a lot of water before and during the race. That's key for consistency and performance.

GP2 Series: What about the consequences for the tyres?

Lucas: Well of course, in high temperatures you have normally more tyre wear. But then you try to set up the car to have the least amount of wear possible, especially in those conditions. Nurburgring was not an issue at all and here I think for us at the moment, it is not an issue. So we are just concentrating to make the car as fast as possible.

GP2 Series: Besides your ambitions for tomorrow, are you also focusing on closing the gap with the Top 3?

Lucas: Well, tonight I'm 18 points behind Hulkenberg. So if you think like that I'm the same amount of points behind the leader after the first race weekend in Barcelona. So, I mean we score more or less the same points. I scored the same points as the leader of the championship. I had exactly the same amount of points as Hulkenberg had in the last event in Germany. In GP2 things can change quite rapidly and my focus is to get as I said the best out of the car and the weekend. If we win, or if we don't, I need get the most points as possible in order to catch up with the leaders.

GP2 Series: Thank you Lucas and congratulations. Vitaly, this morning you were 4 tenths slower than Lucas and again one tenth slower this afternoon. In your opinion, what was lacking for you to get on pole today?

Vitaly Petrov: Because my teammate Grosjean crashed [laughs]. Because in my flying lap, my first two sectors were very good. I was two tenths quicker. I was really close to the pole. With the same tyres, I had to come in and wait for the track to be clear. After that, it was more difficult.

GP2 Series: Towards the final stages of the session, you seemed to be a little bit stuck in traffic...

Vitaly: Not too much traffic, but the track was slower, definitely. In the beginning of the session, thanks to the grip left by the Formula One cars, I was quicker. After, we lost grip. It's because of the change of the grip that I could not improve.

GP2 Series: With Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean starting behind you tomorrow, are you looking tomorrow to take back the lead of the Series?

Vitaly: For me, it doesn't matter who is behind and who is in front. What matters is to finish the race before anything else. And of course to finish on the podium. I will try my best at the start and then we will see what will happen.

GP2 Series: What will be the key to a good result tomorrow?

Vitaly: The key will be very important here in order to have a good car. We will have to find a good balance to save the tyres. Last year, I was quick in the race so we will try to do quite the same set up. And we will see what will happen.

GP2 Series: Thank you. Javier, you have been fast all day finishing in the Top 3 in both free practice and qualifying. Are you happy with your job?

Javier Villa: Yeah. I am happy. To finish Top 3 in the qualifying session is very important. For me, for tomorrow, I will try and get the possible result. We have been struggling at the beginning of the season, but we've picked up the pace in the last races. We are closer to the leaders and we are not making that many mistakes.

GP2 Series: You stopped your qualifying session before the chequered flag. Did you feel you could not improve anymore?

Javier: I had problems with my tyres on my last lap, but it started even before that. And like Vitaly said before, the track was getting slower and I felt like I would not improve. I was happy with third and I knew it was secured at that point.

GP2 Series: Like you said, the team has been improving in the last race weekends at very different tracks. Is this proof that Super Nova can now compete with the front runners everywhere?

Javier: Yes, I think so. It is our objective. Lucas said before that everything changes quickly in GP2 and you never know what will happen next. Today, we are quite strong and we can definitely fight for podiums at least. We need to grab more points.

GP2 Series: What are your hopes for tomorrow?

Javier: The last time I won a GP2 race was here three years ago. Tomorrow, you never know what will happen. I need to make a very good start: it will be very important since here, overtaking is limited. And then, you never know. I'm hoping for a podium. The team has done a great job and it is now my job to get a good result.

-credit: gp2

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Lucas di Grassi , Vitaly Petrov , Nico Hulkenberg , Romain Grosjean , Javier Villa