Post Qualifying Press Conference: Nurburgring 20/07/2007 GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the qualifying press conference at the Nurburgring. Joining us today are Giorgio Pantano from Campos Grand Prix in third position, in second...
Post Qualifying Press Conference: Nurburgring
GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the qualifying press conference at the Nurburgring. Joining us today are Giorgio Pantano from Campos Grand Prix in third position, in second we have Lucas di Grassi from ART, and today's poleman at his home race is Timo Glock from iSport International. Timo, congratulations on pole position today: another two points today after not scoring in the last four races, which I guess must be a bit of a relief...
Timo Glock: Yeah definitely. After the last two weekends with scoring only two points it's good to be back at the front, on pole, and score two points: it's good for the championship. And it's good, against Lucas di Grassi and Giorgio Pantano: they are both quite strong in the races and don't make too many mistakes. We know that we have the pace to put it together, and we should be in the points.
GP2 Series: Obviously free practice was a bit of a wash out this morning: how hard was it to go into qualifying with the limited information that you had?
Timo: I think it was perfect because we had both conditions: you never know how it will be at the Nurburgring! It was good: we did our programme in the morning and tried some stuff straight on in the morning, and we knew that it would be wet at the end so we tried some stuff for the wet, and it was okay. We had no problems and we were quite well prepared, for the wet and for when it's dry.
GP2 Series: You set the fastest lap in the wet conditions as well, so I guess you didn't mind if it was wet or dry today?
Timo: Yeah, for me it didn't make any difference: we had a good car in the wet conditions and I like it in the wet as well, so we had no problems if it was wet or dry.
GP2 Series: Obviously not scoring for four races puts a bit of pressure on you: how has it affected your approach to this weekend?
Timo: I want to be on the top as many times as possible, so when you have a lead of 18 points and it comes down to 2 definitely you start to think about the championship and how you can find a way to come back, and I think that's the right answer for it.
GP2 Series: Sure, but how frustrating has it been to see Lucas and Luca catching up and cutting your lead down to almost nothing?
Timo: It's tough: it's hard when you have to be a spectator, especially at the Sunday race in Silverstone when we had a good pace and a possibility to come up into the top ten and maybe into the points. It's hard to see when they are scoring points and you have problems, but everybody had problems I think: my teammate Andi, and Giorgio too I think. So the two races were enough I hope, and maybe the luck come back now.
GP2 Series: Pole position at your home race in front of your own fans: are you looking for a win to get your championship challenge back on track?
Timo: Yeah, sure: I will try to win the race, but I know it will be difficult against Lucas and Giorgio, especially Giorgio I think because he is good at the start. But we know that we have a good car, especially in the races, and that we will be fighting for the win.
GP2 Series: Congratulations. Lucas, great job today with a very strong fight at the front. You were looking forward to coming here with these tyres at this circuit: how much of a difference has that made today?
Lucas di Grassi: After Silverstone I think we were not really faster, and I was expecting more, especially after Magny Cours: I think we are back now on pace, and it was a good fight with Timo on the first set of tyres, we were really close, and he did a very good job on the second set and could do a very fast lap, so I just have to congratulate him and his team for getting pole at his home track. But I think I will definitely be pushing for the win tomorrow, as much or more than he does, and also we have Giorgio there who is very fast: we saw that in Magny Cours. It's going to be a good race.
GP2 Series: You and Timo were having a very tough battle today, and the times were very close until Timo slapped down that fast lap right at the end of the session: do you think you could have got more out if you had the time?
Lucas: Yeah, I think if you look at the sectors the difference is not that great: I think Timo did a very fast lap and put everything together, and that's what matters in qualifying. I was not able to do that, but I'm on the front row for the first time, and that helps a lot for tomorrow's race.
GP2 Series: Obviously the two guys at the top of the championship are on the front row tomorrow: what do you think is going to happen at the start?
Lucas: I think the cars will start when the lights go out, and like any other race we'll be braking for the first corner and then go on! [laughs]
GP2 Series: Well that's a novel approach to a race start: I thought you might sit around and play backgammon! You probably haven't had the season you expected so far: you haven't had poles, you haven't had wins, but you've been scoring points steadily, steadily. What do you think it's going to take to get that last little push, to get the poles, to get the wins?
Lucas: I've been consistently fast at every race, but it's just that there's been one guy who has been really fast at each circuit: for example, last time in Silverstone Zuber was really quick, in Bahrain Filippi was really quick. We are there at the front for all the races, and we've had some small mistakes leading me to finish not as good as I expected. But I think the good point for the championship is that I haven't done any mistakes, I've been really consistent while others are crashing or having problems, and that's the secret to being so close to Timo after so many races.
GP2 Series: That's true, and as you say there has been one quick guy each weekend this year: are you a bit surprised that you haven't been that guy so far?
Lucas: Yeah, in a championship where we've had nine races and nine different winners, and in a pre-season dominated by two teams basically, I'm quite surprised not to have a win. But I'm not worried about that, I'm worried about winning the championship: that's my goal, and if it is to be this way I'll keep doing my job, and if I win the championship then I'll be happy just the same way.
GP2 Series: Congratulations on your job today. Giorgio, great job today for third once again today: you've been very fast in qualifying all year so far...
Giorgio Pantano: Me?
GP2 Series: Well, you've been in this press conference a few times...
Giorgio: Seven tenths behind the leader you think is fast? [laughs]
GP2 Series: Well, fair enough! You said earlier that you thought that you could have beaten Timo today: why didn't you do it?
Giorgio: No, the only worry I had today is that I couldn't do a lap at the end, because I had two stops on the the weight (bridge), and that made me lose minutes. I didn't have a chance to do another lap, but I am happy today with third place: I'm in the clear place to start, and I'm sure it will be a good race tomorrow for both of us. I'm sure we've got a good car for the race, better than for qualifying, and I'm quite sure that we will make a good start tomorrow.
GP2 Series: If you think that he could have been beaten today, why didn't you do the lap earlier? Was it just the conditions?
Giorgio: No, I'm sure this year compared to last year, well, I wasn't here last year, but I'm sure that the rain took away some of the rubber from Formula One, and from us as well, so there was not enough rubber on the track, and it was not improving from last year. This car is quicker than last year, for sure, but it was just the conditions on the track that were different.
GP2 Series: So the track was just getting better throughout the session?
Giorgio: For sure, yeah.
GP2 Series: Third place is a good position for tomorrow, and you've been fairly handy with your race starts so far: these guys don't want to say what they think will happen at the start, so will you make a prediction?
Giorgio: I think now is my time to have a lucky situation, you know? Until Silverstone, and for a few other races, I was not lucky, but I think now is the time to be lucky like I did in Monte Carlo and Magny Cours, and I think we still have a chance to compete for the championship.
GP2 Series: We saw in Magny Cours that Timo can be ... a little aggressive off the line: are you at all worried about that?
Giorgio: No, I'm not worried about that! [laughs]
GP2 Series: Thanks guys.
-credit: gp2 series