Silverstone: Race one press conference

GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for race one at Silverstone. Joining us today in third position is Kazuki Nakajima from DAMS, in second place we have Mike Conway from Super Nova International, and our race...

GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for race one at Silverstone. Joining us today in third position is Kazuki Nakajima from DAMS, in second place we have Mike Conway from Super Nova International, and our race winner today is Andi Zuber from iSport International. Andi, congratulations on your first win of the season: does this make up for all of your bad luck so far this season?

Andi Zuber: Yeah, definitely it is a big step now for what we have done, and I think I've also got the point for fastest lap so two points for pole position, one point for fastest lap, and then points for the race win: it's just perfect for me. The team did a great job, like always, and the race was quite tough because Mike was quite tough and he pushed me a lot, especially after the pitstop. I'm very happy!

GP2 Series: How hard was it out there today, considering how different the conditions are to yesterday?

Andi: I had a lot of oversteer in the slow corners and a lot of understeer in the quick corners, but I was thinking everyone had it because, as you said, the conditions changed a lot. But in the end it was okay.

GP2 Series: You've had so much bad luck this year, particularly with the starts: what did you have to do to put that out of your head and focus on the job today?

Andi: Yeah, when I'm honest after these two first gear problems and the crash in Magny Cours I was already very pissed off! Three weekends without any points was very hard for me, and it was good that we just had four days break between Magny Cours and Silverstone. I just tried not to think about it, and that's it.

GP2 Series: Pole position, race win and fastest lap while Timo sits at the side of the road with a dead car: did you guys swap cars or something?

Andi: [laughs] No, no - that's unfair to the team! I still don't know what happened to Timo, I'll have to ask when I get back.

GP2 Series: And it brings your championship challenge back to life, I guess?

Andi: When I'm honest I don't even know where I am at the moment: I think sixth or seventh. 19 points, but Timo is still first with 39 points, so we'll see what happens tomorrow. Maybe I can pick up a few points, and then see what happens from there.

GP2 Series: There's still a long way to go yet: congratulations once again. Mike, congratulations on your first GP2 podium: you were here a year ago making your debut in a one off weekend for DPR; did you expect then to be standing on the podium here today?

Mike Conway: Yeah, I think we expected the weekend to be good here because of the knowledge we picked up last year, and in previous years in Formula 3, and we felt confident because we have a good balance in Magny Cours, so we didn't change too much from weekend to weekend, and it seemed to work really well here. So I have to give a big thank you to the team for doing such a good job, as always, and I know our luck hasn't been too good so far, but hopefully this is a turning point for us.

GP2 Series: You must have a pretty memory of Andi's tail now: how hard was it out there today?

Mike: Yeah, it was good: we were pushing each other the whole way, and he'd pull out a gap and then I'd close it back down again. It was a really good race, and I didn't really want it to end: I just kept pushing all the way. It was really close in the pitstops, and I thought maybe we had him there, but he held off at the end there, put in a really good outlap and just held me off, so well done to him.

GP2 Series: You also had a bit of pressure for a while from Adam [Carroll], who came out right behind you: how hard was he pushing you?

Mike: Yeah, I was wondering where he came from really, because I wasn't sure what position he was in! But it was okay: I just pushed really hard for a lap or so and we just seemed to drop him. But it was good: we dropped the rest of the field at the beginning, so that gave us a nice cushion there, and I think it leaves us in good stead tomorrow because we know we've got the pace, and I'm sure we can cut through the rest of the guys and maybe get a podium again tomorrow.

GP2 Series: Racing drivers are always convinced that they can get podiums and wins all the time, but until you've actually done it it's only there in your head: how much of a difference do you think it will make for your season now that you've done it?

Mike: Yeah, I think we've always had good pace in the races, but it's good that we've got it now in qualifying as well because it makes it a lot easier obviously for the race. I think we've got a good chance tomorrow for another podium, I think me and Andi, so we've just got to keep pushing hard to get through.

GP2 Series: Great job today. Kazuki, congratulations on getting your first podium in GP2, and joining us here for the first time this year: how tough a race was it for you today?

Kazuki Nakajima: Yes, the start and the first lap were really poor for me today, so that was the biggest thing in the beginning, but our race pace was good and the team did a very good job in the pitstop and with the strategy, so that's why I could overtake Lucas. Then after that I was really alone, and I had a bit of luck with Adam and Timo, so that's why I could get on the podium. But that's alright, because I've had a lot of bad luck earlier in the season: I think we were in a similar position earlier! So, for me, this is really the start of the season.

GP2 Series: As you say, you didn't have the greatest start today: was the strategy always to come in early if the start isn't too good, and stay out if it is?

Kazuki: Yeah it was like that, and also we were expecting to make a pitstop a little earlier [than the others] so we had a little bit lower tyre pressure, and it was a good strategy for us because our pace was still good at the end of the race, and now we have to think about tomorrow for that.

GP2 Series: Of the guys who stopped early you came out first: did that just allow you to come out and put in a string of fast laps as you are known to do?

Kazuki: I think we had a good set up for race, and I think the life of the tyre is quite good, so it's quite normal for us to make an early stop. And also I was stuck in behind Lucas [di Grassi], so I was thinking to make a pitstop a bit earlier anyway, and the team was thinking this at the same time.

GP2 Series: In Magny Cours you were able to be very aggressive and overtake a lot of guys: did you want to stay out and overtake Lucas on the track?

Kazuki: No, I wanted to overtake him in a safe way, and that was the safest way, and we knew that we could save the tyres to the end too.

GP2 Series: You've obviously tested here in Formula One: how much of a difference did that make today?

Kazuki: For me it was a big help because it was the first time, and if I didn't have that testing then I didn't have any experience at this track, and if you see in the first sector it's really tricky, so it was a big help and I have to say a big thanks to the team for that.

GP2 Series: You've shown phenomenal speed all year but haven't been able to show it in the points yet, other than the fastest lap point, which I think we're going to rename after you: how satisfying is it to come up and get a podium here and show everyone what you can do in a race, other than just straight speed?

Kazuki: It was really frustrating at the beginning of the season, and I have to show that I can do a good race and stay out of trouble, so I think this result is really important for me. I think what we have to do is improve our race pace, as we had a big gap between Mike and me, so we have to push for that.

GP2 Series: Congratulations on your podium, and thanks a lot guys.

-credit: gp2series

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Mike Conway , Kazuki Nakajima
Teams DAMS