Spa: Qualifying press conference

Parente, di Grassi and Hulkenberg discuss the session GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here in Spa-Francorchamps. Joining us today from pole position is Alvaro Parente from Ocean ...

Parente, di Grassi and Hulkenberg discuss the session

GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here in Spa-Francorchamps. Joining us today from pole position is Alvaro Parente from Ocean Racing Technology, in second place we have Lucas di Grassi from Fat Burner Racing Engineering, and in third place we have Nico Hulkenberg from ART Grand Prix. Starting with you Alvaro, congratulations on claiming your first pole, and the team's first pole: how does it feel?

Alvaro Parente: It feels great! This year we've been struggling a bit with accidents and everything else in races, we haven't been scoring too many points, so to be here in Spa and on pole is great, and I think we deserve it. We've been working very hard to get here, so it feels great. I managed to put together a good lap, the car felt great and I was really confident, so I could push and we can see the result. I am really happy for everyone in the team, and we will see what we can make tomorrow from here, but the car is really quick so I am sure we can make a good result.

GP2 Series: And Karun is not far off your time, so clearly the team are on top of this circuit. You've shown that the car is fast in the races this year but have been stuck behind other guys, and possibly your qualifying hasn't been quite as good: what do you think you can achieve from pole?

Alvaro: That's not quite true, we've been qualifying relatively well but the races haven't been going quite my way: I had an accident last weekend so we missed some points there which was not my fault, and two or three times it happened already on the Saturday race, especially at the beginning of the year and this destroys your Sunday race, and the whole weekend. So now we're on pole for Spa, and we'll see how it goes.

GP2 Series: A win tomorrow?

Alvaro: I'm certainly going to try! It's looking good, it's the place you want to be, and we'll see what we can do from there tomorrow.

GP2 Series: Congratulations. Lucas, congratulations on second today, albeit missing out on pole by the smallest amount: nevertheless, are you happy with your job today?

Lucas di Grassi: Well I cannot say I am 100% satisfied: it was a good qualifying, I did good laps, but we had a mechanical issue with the engine by halfway through qualifying and the engine was not performing really well, and I lost my third set on the tyres where I was sure I could improve a little bit. But I cannot say that being on the front row is bad, so from that position for sure if the car behaves good in the race, we're going to fight for the win.

GP2 Series: How much timewise do you think you lost here?

Lucas: It's very difficult to say because I haven't seen the data yet, but I could hear on the gear changes and on the straights that the engine was not performing well, and my sector times, especially the first one, were getting slower and slower every time.

GP2 Series: After the bad luck of last weekend, what are your hopes for this weekend?

Lucas: Good luck! [laughs]

GP2 Series: Do you see yourself as still being in the hunt for the title?

Lucas: Well, the title is a bit far away: I'm just focussing on getting as many wins as possible, and then we'll see how it goes.

GP2 Series: Fair enough. Nico, congratulations on third today, which is a bit unusual for you: are you satisfied with your job today?

Nico Hulkenberg: Yeah, third is not bad, it could be worse. Second row I think is a good place for the race, and even we can have less good days than we've had. We just didn't quite put it together today but we're third: we'll take it, and move on tomorrow.

GP2 Series: It must be nice to be in a position where less good is still only a tenth off pole! Do you now take a conservative approach in the race because of the championship?

Nico: No, not at all: I won't be taking it conservative because of the championship, I will be as usual finding the right moods between being aggressive and keeping your head cool. But I'm not thinking about the title, I'm thinking about race by race, and I want to achieve good results. We we see what happens tomorrow, maybe have some nice fights, and afterwards we will see.

GP2 Series: Obviously the title is there to be had, but there is still a possibility of the other guys catching you: if you're going into turn one, which is notoriously tight but has a couple of lines, are you really going to put your nose in and see what happens?

Nico: Well I can't really answer this question: it really depends on my start, and how my getaway is. But if I see a chance, a realistic chance, I will take it for sure: I won't hesitate for a second. But if there is no chance then I will stay in my position, try to defend or whatever. It will just depend on the situation.

Editor's note: After the session Lucas Di Grassi was dropped three places after being judged to have impeded Karun Chandhok. Nico Hulkenberg will now start on the front row in second, while third now belongs to Diego Nunes.

-credit: gp2

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Karun Chandhok , Alvaro Parente , Lucas di Grassi , Nico Hulkenberg , Diego Nunes
Teams ART Grand Prix , Racing Engineering