Race One Press Conference GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for race one here at the Nurburgring. Joining us today we have race winner Nico Hulkenberg from ART, in second place we have Roldan Rodriguez from ...
Race One Press Conference
GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for race one here at the Nurburgring. Joining us today we have race winner Nico Hulkenberg from ART, in second place we have Roldan Rodriguez from Piquet GP, and in third place is Andreas Zuber from FMS. Starting with you Nico, congratulations on your first win in the main series today. This is normally where we say that looked really easy from the outside, and the driver says not really: that look really easy from the outside, but how was the race for you?
Nico Hulkenberg: To be honest, normally I don't say it but today was a bit simple: I was surprised by the speed that we had to the others, and I think he [Roldan] was a bit held up by di Grassi, but anyway you wouldn't have had a chance, because my car was too good today! [laughs] The team gave me a great car, and we just put it all together and made a great victory.
GP2 Series: Everybody says that getting the first win makes it suddenly seem easy: does it?
Nico: Does it make it easy after the first win? No, not at all: I keep my attitude, and we have to keep pushing hard to stay in the position. To be in this position now is very nice, but the aim is to stay there for the second part of the season as well, so we need to push on.
GP2 Series: Talking about that, you are now just one point behind Romain in the standings: you were previously saying that you're not looking at the championship, but with the points as they now are, are you at least looking at it a bit?
Nico: Well for sure you always have the championship in view, you are always watching it, but I think it's better to think race by race and then, if you get the maximum performance race by race then we get the maximum points, and if that is the situation then we are champions at the end. So I don't put myself or the team under more pressure now, I just keep doing the same as we are doing now.
GP2 Series: At the start of the season Barwa Addax seemed to have a big gap to everyone else: has that changed now?
Nico: Obviously it did a bit: Vitaly [Petrov] was strong here in free practice but I don't know what happened to them in qualifying, and to be honest I haven't seen what happened to them today or what their pace was like. Clearly if you take the first two or three events they were very strong, stronger than anybody else, but now that's sort of changed and other teams are at the top, but it can always change back again.
GP2 Series: Which is why it helps to be in a traditionally strong team such as ART?
Nico: Yeah sure, ART are doing a great job at the moment and giving me a good car, and we're working well together, so I have to say thanks to them.
GP2 Series: Congratulations on your victory today. Roldan, congratulations on second place: I guess you were hoping to fight for the win but got help up until the pitstop, would that be fair to say?
Roldan Rodriguez: Yeah, exactly. I was stuck behind another driver until the pitstops, and I think I lost all the chances to win. I think I had the pace to win the race, or at least to fight for it, and after the pitstop I risked a lot to take advantage from the people in front and behind, and after that I was watching Nico and I think for a long period of time we were exactly on the same time [gap], but at the end of the race he was a bit faster than me but the race was over.
GP2 Series: Was that just a case of you slowing down to preserve the car?
Roldan: No, no, I was always pushing as hard as I can after I was no longer blocked until the end of the race.
GP2 Series: There was very little overtaking today, and previously this has been a good overtaking circuit for our cars: why do you think that was the case today?
Roldan: I don't think it's easy to overtake because a lot of corners here have this camber, so you can brake very, very late and also after turning, so it's very difficult to overtake unless you are much faster than the one in front, or in case he makes mistake. So for me the only place to overtake di Grassi was in the pits.
GP2 Series: Which is what you did. A good result for you and the team, and after the win in Silverstone does this mean that Piquet is back?
Roldan: Yeah, the car was working very good through the whole weekend for me, free practice, qualifying and now, and thanks to the team who are working very hard since the first race to arrive at this point, and I hope all the rest of the races will be here at the front.
GP2 Series: Well done today. Andi, welcome back to the press conference for the first time in a while. How was the race for you today?
Andreas Zuber: The race was quite interesting for me: I had a very good start and a good first corner, and I nearly got Roldan but I was a bit careful and was P4 after the first lap, so I tried to keep the pace to the guys in front of me but it was a bit difficult, and then after di Grassi's pitstop I could close the gap a bit until I did my pitstop, and then it was one lap of ice driving [laughs] and after that it was okay. I was fighting with Petrov after the pitstop because some backmarkers blocked me, but Petrov was a bit slower than me and the guy in front was a bit quicker and that's it, but it was good work by the team to get this result.
GP2 Series: One lap of ice driving: does that mean you changed four tyres?
Andreas: No I changed two tyres, but I had a lot of oversteer! [laughs] It's just it's so cold here, and if you changed 4 tyres I think it would be very bad, so that's the reason we just changed two. We decided to make an early pitstop, and I think that was a good decision, but that's the reason we had one bad lap and also why we lost some time to Petrov, but other than that I am very happy.
GP2 Series: After than not a lot to do, but another good podium for you here...
Andreas: Yeah, and we're looking more or less at the points, and the last 3 points we want to get on the pace that the guys in front of me had, like ART or Piquet Sports, and now we're getting better and better: I think we need maybe three or four races and we will be on the pace of them, so for the last few races we should be good.
GP2 Series: And you should be able to fight for wins?
Andreas: I hope so, but you saw with Campos that they had two or three good races and now they're struggling, and maybe we struggled a bit at the beginning but now we're going better and better, and I hope we can continue like that.