GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here in Silverstone. Joining us today is our polesitter Romain Grosjean of Barwa Addax, in second place for his first press conference is Alberto ...
GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here in Silverstone. Joining us today is our polesitter Romain Grosjean of Barwa Addax, in second place for his first press conference is Alberto Valerio from Piquet GP, and in third place we have Alvaro Parente from Ocean Racing Technology. Starting with you Romain, congratulations on your third pole position of the year: happy with your day's work today?
Romain Grosjean: Well, yes! [laughs] It was important to be back on the top: Istanbul was a bit of a difficult weekend, we scored no points and worse that this we had some issues with the car and we didn't know why, but again the team have done a fantastic job and rebuilt again the car, because after Monaco we had to do it and they did it again for here to understand what was wrong. We found some pieces that, well, looked a bit strange, so they changed it and the car was giving me confidence straight away this morning. Silverstone is a track that I like, and it was quite an interesting session: I thought that 26.1 wouldn't be beaten so we came to the pits to change my tyres, and my engineer told me that Alberto was a little bit faster, so I had to go again and find a gap and make a good lap. It was a very interesting session and I think we are back, and that is something important for everybody.
GP2 Series: You mentioned that you like this place, but it looked as though everyone does because there were a lot of guys doing good laps too! It looked like the difference for you was you found a clear lap without traffic on your second set: would that be fair to say?
Romain: It's always difficult to find a good time because you go out and you don't know how many laps you'll need to warm the tyres so yeah, you plan something, but if the plan doesn't work because someone is coming out of the pits or something then it's a bit tricky. But basically yes, everything went well this afternoon, the car was fantastic to drive and I did a good lap, so it was good.
GP2 Series: Your teammate is a little further back than expected: does this make tomorrow a little better than you were thinking?
Romain: Well yes, but the pole was important: there are two points for pole position, and two points are important in the championship. Basically what I want is to win races, so if I win more races than the others then normally it should work for the title. I don't check where are the others in qualifying, I just go and take the pleasure that I have to take in a good lap with new tyres and a fantastic car, and then I watch the time on the dashboard.
GP2 Series: Talking about winning races, are you going to win one tomorrow?
Romain: We will see: first of all we have to see the weather, but it will be an interesting race. I have some memories from last year where I had a little bit of tyre degradation [laughs], but I think the team knows what to do with the car, I know how to drive I think, and basically if everything goes good with the change then I hope that we can keep going as we have gone today.
GP2 Series: Thanks Romain, good job today. Alberto, congratulations: the only thing I think to ask is what just happened?
Alberto Valerio: I was fast! [laughs] Not quite fast enough to beat Grosjean, but like he said before the track for the second set of tyres was terrible, and a lot of cars, and I couldn't find one clean lap to do it. But I like this circuit, and I like Istanbul where we were fast as well: I think I just used the car, because the car from the team is really good, because at the test in Paul Ricard we could prove that as well. So I'm happy! [laughs]
GP2 Series: You've been showing some decent pace in qualifying all year, but haven't been able to bring it together: what has made the difference here?
Alberto: There was the luck that I was missing in Monaco [laughs], and I couldn't close a lap in Istanbul as well, we did the sectors but couldn't put them together, so here I had on my first set two clean laps, and I said 'fuck, we reign!' because this something that never happened [laughs]. And then I could do one lap, and the close of the other one was good, but not enough to beat him! But that's what happened, and I'm happy for that.
GP2 Series: Do you think it's possible that you could have beaten him if you had another clean lap?
Alberto: For sure, everything is possible, and I'm sure that for sure he could improve his time as well, because we had so little test, so limited tyres: I think we are on the limit but there is much more to take. We are on the limit of the moment, because it's difficult in half an hour with just one set of tyres that you have two laps to reach the maximum of the car and the maximum of the track.
GP2 Series: And you found that limit and a bit more when you had your off road excursion on your second set of tyres...
Alberto: [laughs] Yeah, I saw that he beat me on the time and I thought I had to push, but I pushed too much!
GP2 Series: Almost unknown territory for you tomorrow: what are your plans for the race?
Alberto: Yeah, last year here was quite fun because the tyres were gone for everybody at the end of the race, and I think it because of this race that the organisation changed the tyres, and I think for tomorrow it will be the same: I think it will be very difficult if it's dry or if it's wet too, because the tyres don't take long [to go off], and I think this is exciting for tomorrow. I will just be pushing for my team to make a good result.
GP2 Series: Good luck for tomorrow: you're the only driver that we'll be able to hear laughing from the podium all the way down the pitlane! [laughs]
Alberto: [laughs] And I hope you hear it more times!
GP2 Series: Great job today. Alvaro, congratulations to you as well for today: I'm sure you're happy to be in the top three, but do you think you could have had more if it wasn't for traffic at the end of the session?
Alvaro Parente: Well, I put a pretty decent lap together and there was not too much traffic, so I'm pretty happy with my lap: there is a little we could have taken off, but I think it went quite well. It's very tricky in every qualifying session in GP2 because every session has to fit together, and like they were saying if you hit traffic you are nowhere. It's quite competitive, so everything went well today, we are third which is our best qualifying for us which means we are improving, and already in Turkey we were very, very fast in the race: unfortunately a mistake on my part meant we couldn't finish and have a good result. We're improving and we're on the right way, and we'll see what tomorrow brings to us: unfortunately we haven't been scoring any points, but I think we can change that.
GP2 Series: As you say, it is the best qualifying result for the team in their short history: what is it like for you and Karun to be pushing to get the team to improve so fast?
Alvaro: It's important for the team to have experienced drivers, but there is a group of very, very good people working in Ocean: we are on the right way and doing a good job, and hopefully we will start to do some good results [laughs].
GP2 Series: Yes, qualifying is one thing but results are another: what are your expectations for tomorrow?
Alvaro: Romain was saying about the degradation, and we have to look at that because obviously here is an aggressive track for the tyres: it's going to be an interesting race. I think everything is on: we will see.