GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here in Monza. Joining us today is tomorrow's pole sitter Vitaly Petrov from Barwa Addax, in second place we have Giedo van der Garde from iSport ...
GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here in Monza. Joining us today is tomorrow's pole sitter Vitaly Petrov from Barwa Addax, in second place we have Giedo van der Garde from iSport International, and in third place we have Nico Hulkenberg from ART Grand Prix. Starting with you Vitaly, congratulations on a strong performance where you set the two fastest times in qualifying despite being ill: how was the session for you?
Vitaly Petrov: This morning we had some problems with the car, with the brakes, in free practice, so in qualifying we adapted a little bit from there and it was better. I think we had quite a good set up and good ideas, and we took some very good tactics in qualifying today: everything was perfect.
GP2 Series: You say everything was perfect, but your arm is quite heavily bandaged. I heard that you got an infection, but what actually happened?
Vitaly: I don't know. People told me something strange happened in Spain, but I don't know what happened. I did already this morning an operation, and I did again half an hour ago an operation, and the doctor here in Monza is quite good because they stopped already some infection and pain, so I hope tomorrow they will put it in ice or something to stop the pain because I'm still no right and my hand is hurting, so I hope tomorrow we can fix it and try to do a good race.
GP2 Series: You've pulled back two points in the championship: how important was that, as well as putting yourself on the front at the fastest circuit on the calendar?
Vitaly: Of course it's important for me and the team, and it's important because for six or seven races I have always mechanical problems this season, always have something not right, so now our luck has changed and I'll try to do our best to see what happens tomorrow.
GP2 Series: You start from the best position and you've got nothing to lose: what are your expectations for tomorrow?
Vitaly: It's very difficult, the start here, because you don't have downforce at the start: at other tracks you have full downforce and it's easy for the start and I know how I need to start. Here it is a little more difficult, but I hope it will be okay: it is always dangerous here, and last year Villa crashed into me, so I hope this time it will be better!
GP2 Series: Giedo, congratulations on your first time in the top three for qualifying. In Spa you said that you felt you had the race pace sorted out but you needed to work on the qualifying: does this mean you've got the whole package now?
Giedo van der Garde: Yeah, more or less! [laughs] I think so far we've had quite a tough season: at the beginning we were quite competitive but after that we struggled a lot. I think we found something in Hungary and that was our turning point, and after that it's getting better and better. I'm quite pleased with the result today.
GP2 Series: It's sometimes a bit funny with qualifying, because guys don't see why it's not working and then suddenly it clicks and they can see it all: do you see anything different in the way that you approached this qualifying session compared to the previous ones?
Giedo: I think the last three weekends would have been good for qualifying but we made some mistakes with the set up, and here it was good, especially at the start of the session when the track was quicker than at the end, and everyone was quicker than on their second set: I think that was the key.
GP2 Series: You start on the front row tomorrow: what are your hopes for the race?
Giedo: I will try to have a good start: our race pace is always good, so hopefully I will try to get a podium and bring home some good points.
GP2 Series: Congratulations. Nico, third place today, but you seem cold: do you need a jumper or something?
Nico Hulkenberg: Actually I do, it's really cold! Don't you?
GP2 Series: No, it's really hot! [laughs] P3 today: are you satisfied with your session?
Nico: Not really, to be honest: it just didn't come our way today, we just didn't have the best performance, and just generally we were just too slow. That's it.
GP2 Series: It's a difficult place to get the top lap sometimes, but nevertheless you're about in the right place for the championship. What are your hopes for the race tomorrow?
Nico: I think from third position everything is possible: I won races from P5, like in Hungary, and was third in Silverstone from P7. It's a long race, a tough first corner, and anything is possible. It's a tough race, but we need to get through the first few laps and then I hope that we can have a nice race.
GP2 Series: You have the advantage of being able to be conservative and stay out of trouble should anything happen at the first corner, of course...
Nico: I don't see it that way: if you're too conservative sometimes that can also be bad. I'll just see it as a normal race, and if there's a chance of overtaking or having a fight with someone I will go for it to get the best result for the team