Monza: Qualifying press conference

Quotes from Bianchi, Bird and d'Ambrosio GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here in Monza. Joining us today from pole position we have Jules Bianchi from ART, in second place we have...

Quotes from Bianchi, Bird and d'Ambrosio

GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here in Monza. Joining us today from pole position we have Jules Bianchi from ART, in second place we have Sam Bird, also from ART, and in third position we have Jerome d'Ambrosio from Dams. Jules, congratulations on a great job today: I guess this puts an end to people asking you how you're feeling these days!

Jules Bianchi: Yeah! I feel really good, and after two difficult races in Hungary and Spa to be back on pole is really good for me and for the team. This morning I was not so fast, I was P12, and we did a good job with the team in the afternoon to improve: we didn't change so much on the car, I just pushed a lot, and I'm really happy with this pole.

GP2 Series: What does it take to grab pole here, where everyone is very fast and very close?

Jules: Yes, it's a really difficult qualifying and you have to do the perfect lap because it's really close: Sam was really quick so it's really good for the team to be P1 and P2, and I hope tomorrow it will be the same.

GP2 Series: P1 and P2 from the same team tends to make a few nervous moments: what are your thoughts ahead of the race tomorrow?

Jules: First of all to do a good start [laughs] and then not to crash in the first corner, because it's a really tight corner and it will be really hard to be ahead there...

Jerome d'Ambrosio: And then not to do like Glock and Zuber in Magny Cours [laughs]

Jules: [laughs] Yeah, of course not! I will try to do my best and then we will see what happens, but for sure it will be a good thing to finish on the podium after starting on pole.

GP2 Series: Congratulations. Sam, congratulations on P2: happy with your job today?

Sam Bird: Yeah: I'll give him this one! [laughs] It's funny: we got into the truck afterwards and both looked at each other and just went phew, we're fast again! Thank God for that, we can actually drive! [laughs] It was good, although I made a mistake on my best lap: I set two lap times exactly the same, and on one of them I made a big mistake, so ... Ifs, buts and maybes, but starting on the front row is always quite good.

GP2 Series: It's the first time we've seen both of you in here after qualifying for a while: what do you put that down to?

Sam: Yeah, you saw us both here in Barcelona, and this is the first time since then. We've been fast all year to be honest, both of us, we've had a couple of minor blips and I could explain those blips, but it would have been nice to see me in here more often, and it's nice to back again: I hope that we can be sitting somewhere at this table tomorrow.

GP2 Series: We've heard what Jules said: what are your thoughts for tomorrow?

Sam: [laughs, long pause] We both need points firstly, but we need to be sensible at the first corner: go round the first corner first and second and we'll fight it out after that. It should be good: he's extremely quick, I felt that I had the speed today, we have a yellow and black wasp behind us [smiles at d'Ambrosio], so we'll see what happens.

GP2 Series: Jerome, congratulations on P3 today, and more of the same after your great performance in Spa: how was it for you?

Jerome d'Ambrosio: Yeah, I feel great: first of all I'm happy for Jules, to get on pole after Hungary is something good, and I'm happy for him that he is back there. From my side I feel that I'm back to a good position again, pole position in Spa and now here in third. It's really close, and I also could have found some bits in my lap, but the race will be long tomorrow and I think that this year no one has won from pole position: no pressure there! [laughs]

Sam: You did!

Jerome: No I didn't!

Sam: Yes you did, in Monaco!

Jerome: That was race two! [laughs] But yeah, I think it was good today.

GP2 Series: You've had a return to form over the last few weekends: what do you put that down to?

Jerome: I think it's always a combination of things: I've had this very difficult moment in Hockenheim, and it wasn't easy with someone else in the car and I had to watch, but it did help though in the long term, and we have to look at it in the long term. I came back in Hungary, got some points there, and then in Spa we all know how it went. So it's always a combination: the car is maybe a bit better, and it's also that maybe I'm driving a bit better, and we're working better with the team. It's never just the team or the driver in a situation who is wrong, it's a combination: I believe I'm good, the team is good as well, it's just finding a way to work together, and this is what we found out.

GP2 Series: Yes, and almost surprisingly you and Romain seem to work together really well and spur each other on...

Jerome: Surprisingly? Why did you add surprisingly? [laughs] Well, I think Romain is a very fast driver, and for me it's nice to have a fast driver beside me: this morning we compared data and in some corners he's quicker, in other corners I'm quicker, and we pulled it out together. It's good because it helps push the team along faster, and he has experience from Formula One of course, we should not forget that, he has 7 races with Renault and you can feel this in the way he approaches the team, and I can learn from that, so this is something very important to me.

GP2 Series: Looking forward to tomorrow, we've heard what these two are thinking and you'll be sitting right behind them: any thoughts?

Jerome: Well you all know where I stand: I've got not much to lose, so I'll just push hard and see what happens, hopefully my engine will last [laughs], and I'm just looking for a good start and then we'll see. What's good about Monza is that you can fight, there are long straights, and it's an interesting race for everyone, so I'm looking forward to it.

GP2 Series: So am I: it should be a hell of a race. Congratulations.

-source: gp2

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Jérôme d'Ambrosio , Sam Bird , Jules Bianchi