Monaco: Qualifying press conference

Clos, Perez and Maldonado discuss their session GP2 Series: Dani, P1 is a very dramatic qualifying session here in Monaco: how does it feel? Dani Clos: It feels really good! You know, since the beginning of the session we were in front, we...

Clos, Perez and Maldonado discuss their session

GP2 Series: Dani, P1 is a very dramatic qualifying session here in Monaco: how does it feel?

Dani Clos: It feels really good! You know, since the beginning of the session we were in front, we were in the top three all the time and fighting with Perez and Maldonado, and they were hard bones, they were all the time constantly there with no mistakes and really quick, and at the end we made a late pitstop and did some little changes and went out with six minutes to go: I just found one clear lap, the only one, and I just found the rhythm and was constant and not doing any mistakes, and I got the time. I really happy because it's my first pole in this category, and also because it's Monaco and the conditions were really hard. With this track, with the bad weather and everything, it's been really, really good for me.

GP2 Series: The conditions were awful, and Monaco is hard at the best of times, and you, Sergio and Pastor were miles ahead of everyone: why do you think that was?

Dani: To be honest I don't know! We were just constantly there, and we found the grip of the track -- there was not much, but there was a little bit -- and we took profit from it, and we found a nice gap, all three of us, and also it was a little bit hard because of the yellow flags at the end, but it's like that in Monaco: it's a street circuit, and it's hard for everyone.

GP2 Series: When Pastor went into the wall only you and Sergio had a shot at pole: how hard was that lap?

Dani: It was the only lap free that I had, I had a really good space because I let some drivers overtake me as I knew behind them there was about 3 seconds of margin, and I waited and waited and then did one lap, and that was sufficient.

GP2 Series: You said last week that there is a new approach, a new attack for you this season: is this pole the first sign of the new Dani?

Dani: The new Dani came in Barcelona, I think: we were on the podium and did a good job, third position was amazing for me at my home track with my people, and also it was the first race, but here we are still working the same way, doing things in the right way, and just going forward.

GP2 Series: Any predictions for tomorrow?

Dani: Well tomorrow this is a hard track, it's good to start in front but it's never easy because one little mistake and you can take it to the wall, so we have to be intelligent and for tomorrow be careful with the guys behind, and just do our best.

GP2 Series: Sergio, P2 today in a very dramatic qualifying session: how was it for you inside the car?

Sergio Perez: It was quite exciting inside the car, because I knew the track was getting a lot dryer and I knew I had to get a clear lap close to the end, but it was really difficult to manage the traffic: I was lucky to get that free lap, and also my engineering was always on the radio telling me if there was traffic so I was always slowing down a lot. So I only had one lap, which was the last lap, and I had to pull it all together and I had some traffic in the second sector and last sector, but I managed to do P2 just three hundredths behind Clos! We are now in a position to find for the victory tomorrow.

GP2 Series: You, Dani and Pastor were swapping the top position throughout, and you were miles ahead of everyone else: what do you put that down to?

Sergio: I think first of all I was the first one to get out, so I had a clear vision of everything, and secondly we were taking some more risks that the others I think because I thought it was going to rain some more, but then when I saw the sun come out I just had to think about the end of the session. It worked out pretty well, but on the other hand I'm pretty disappointed to be only three hundredths off pole! [laughs]

GP2 Series: It is awfully close! You came in just before the end of the session: was that to change the car for the last lap?

Sergio: Yeah, we changed some stuff on the car, and it seemed to work pretty well.

GP2 Series: How do you balance the risk / reward in a session like that, where it's very wet and it's Monaco, so you know that one little mistake puts you into the wall?

Sergio: You have to be lucky, to be always fully concentrating and never miss your concentration, because one mistake, especially in the wet, and you are into the wall, no doubt about that. Luckily we went away with second position, and we are in a position to fight for a win. Let's see and wait until tomorrow: we don't know if it's going to be wet or dry, but whatever we will do our best and fight for the win.

GP2 Series: Pastor, P3 today in a session where I suspect you're slightly disappointed with the result...

Pastor Maldonado: Yeah, a bit disappointed with the result because we were very quick until the last lap, and for sure we expected the pole this morning because we were amazingly quick, but anyway it's still good. We have to look at the championship and get some points, and we are, so tomorrow is going to be very interesting and I am very quick, so everything can happen. We will see tomorrow.

GP2 Series: Monaco is always difficult, and when you throw rain into the mix it looks impossible: how hard was it out there?

Pastor: It was very hard at the beginning, but the last three or four laps the track was quicker and a little bit dry, so it was a little bit easier. But at the beginning it was really, really difficult because our set up was not full wet, so we were taking some risks to do the time, and when I saw the track was improving I was just saving the tyres and waiting until the end of the qualifying.

GP2 Series: And then you had the crash, with one minute to go: what happened?

Pastor: I just tried to do my best lap, because it was my last lap, and I just took a risk and spun a bit on the white line, which was a bit wet, so I lost the car and there was nothing to do.

GP2 Series: P3 tomorrow: what are your predictions for the race?

Pastor: We will see: anything can happen during the race, which is very long, and for sure I am very quick, so I will try to do my best and we will see what happens at the end.

-source: gp2series

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Pastor Maldonado , Sergio Perez , Dani Clos