GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here at the Circuit Magny Cours. Joining us today is poleman Bruno Senna from iSport International, next to him we have Romain Grosjean from ART Grand...
GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here at the Circuit Magny Cours. Joining us today is poleman Bruno Senna from iSport International, next to him we have Romain Grosjean from ART Grand Prix, and on the other side we have third placed driver Giorgio Pantano from Racing Engineering. Bruno, congratulations on pole today: that was a bit of a dramatic way to take it...
Bruno Senna: Yeah, obviously that wasn't how I intended to do it! I had a good lap going and then had a bit of a wild entry into the chicane, I used a bit too much kerb on the left before entering it and I thought I could get away with it and I was carrying some good speed, but when I hit the kerb on the right I just lost the car and I completely lifted to try and save the car: there was no point on taking pole and crashing! But unfortunately I just couldn't really recover the car: I was sideways and just went into the wall. Fortunately I was quick enough for pole position but I prefer to do it the classic way, with four wheels attached the car next time!
GP2 Series: Your team boss suggested afterwards you would have been even faster if you had been able to stay on track: do you think you had some more time in you today?Bruno: On that lap for sure it would have been quicker to just do it properly because when I came into the chicane I was already sideways: it was pretty slow actually if you look at the data, and that's not the best way through the chicane...
GP2 Series: How hard were the conditions today? There were a lot of guys running off track in both sessions.
Bruno: The circuit is a bit difficult: it gives you good confidence to push harder and harder, but when you are going quite quick the chicanes are taken at quite high speeds, and if you lose it you're going to have a big moment. It's quite easy to go off here, and I think some people who have less experience here sometimes just push too hard.
GP2 Series: Nevertheless you start from the front tomorrow, which should make your job a little bit easier...
Bruno: Sure. It's better to defend than attack, and it's not the easiest place to overtake in the world: there are a few opportunities, but if the car in front doesn't make a mistake you are going to struggle.
GP2 Series: Congratulations. Romain, a good job for you to take second today. You were the only one of the top three who didn't go off track today: do you think if you had gone off you might have been faster?
Romain Grosjean: No, it's not a good way to do a pole, for sure! I think we had a good car today, and we did some good work at LeCastellet , the team is working very well and the first set of tyres were really good: the second set I didn't have a good chance because at the beginning somebody came out of the pit in the middle of the track, so first lap lost, and after the red flag I was on for a good lap but in the last sector there was another car slowing down to get a good next lap, so that killed my lap as well. I think we need to get locked in for qualifying, because the second set was not as good as the first, but for me it is my best result in qualifying: P2 is alright, and starting on the front row for the French GP is something good for me.
GP2 Series: Has there been any more pressure by being in front of your home fans?
Romain: No, it's not pressure, it's something nice: you feel that people are behind you and try to help you, to just give you breath. It's just nice, it's not a pressure: for me it's just nice to be home, and at least I know the track after Turkey and Monaco, so it helps me a lot. The car is very consistent and I could do a lot of fast laps, so that's good for the race.
GP2 Series: So you think you'll give the home fans something to cheer about tomorrow?
Romain: We'll see. The aim is to take a good start, and then we'll see what happens.
GP2 Series: Congratulations. Giorgio, congratulations to you on being in the top three once again. You always do well here: what is it about the circuit that you like so much?
Giorgio Pantano: It's my eighth year that I've come here, and I like it because I'm normally doing well here anyway. The car is quite good, and I'm sure tomorrow we will be quite competitive with those two guys, and we'll have a good race.
GP2 Series: There was nothing between you three guys today: do you think that you could gone any faster and taken pole today?
Giorgio: Probably the perfect lap would have been pole, and probably Bruno did the best lap so he's on pole now. We are so close, and I think he just had a better luck today, but tomorrow we'll see because with our car we have a good chance to compete for the win.
GP2 Series: When you took your second set of tyres you came out of the pits and then went across the gravel: what happened there, and do you think it caused you any problems?
Giorgio: Because I lost the right mirror, and with the left one I couldn't see if there was another car coming and I stayed on the outside just to stay off the fast line, but it was so dirty and I was on new tyres so I went off: I lost the right mirror and I didn't want to be penalised for being in the way, and that's why I went off.
GP2 Series: You won here this time last year: what are your hopes for tomorrow?
Giorgio: I believe in our condition we are for sure in a position to compete for the win: the car is going well, and we see at the other races as well it is going well, and it just depends how Bruno and Grosjean are going tomorrow, but I'm sure I'll be there.