Lucas di Grassi: "Up for the challenge" Just two points behind the leader, the 23 year-old Brazilian Renault Driver Development member will be fighting for the prestigious GP2 Series title in the final round of the 2007 Championship this weekend...
Lucas di Grassi: "Up for the challenge"
Just two points behind the leader, the 23 year-old Brazilian Renault Driver Development member will be fighting for the prestigious GP2 Series title in the final round of the 2007 Championship this weekend in Valencia, Spain.
Lucas, how are you feeling a few days before the final showdown in Valencia?
To be honest, I feel quite relaxed. I am happy that I am in a position to fight for the title, and at the same time, I want to win this championship more than anything else. Basically, I've been preparing myself for this round in Valencia for the past twelve years. I am ready. If the crown felt more out of reach, I'd be nervous, but the team and I are totally up for this challenge.
What does winning this title mean to you?
The GP2 Series is still a young championship, but it is very prestigious and it is the stepping stone to an even greater category. Ever since the first season back in 2005, there have been only two drivers fighting for the championship in the end. The first year was between Heikki and Nico Rosberg, last season it was between Piquet and Hamilton. All four of them showed real driving skills and are now in Formula 1, also proving the competitive level of the GP2 Championship. This season, the fight is between Timo and me. And once again, it's a really close fight. The best prepared driver will be the one who wins in the end.
How well do you know the Spanish track?
Valencia is a very special track for me: I raced for the very first time in GP2 on that circuit back in April 2006. It has turned full circle. It is a great track for the crowd because you can see the action on the entire length of the circuit. It's not a challenging track because it's quite short. The car set-up and the strategy will play a very big part: since it is so short, the traffic is always dense... It will be important to find a clear track in qualifying. I tested there with ART last winter. We should be able to find the perfect set-up.
The gap between Timo Glock and yourself is very close. Mistakes are not allowed. How do you cope with the pressure?
I will approach this round like I did with all the ones before: I'll do the best that I can in order to finish in front. To me, it's just another race. If I do my job properly, I'll have no regret. Racing involves a lot of factors: it's about the car set-up, the traffic, the race incidents and my driving. The focus is to get the best out of yourself and try to drive as fast as you can. I will concentrate on my performance only and not wait for Glock to make a mistake.
In your opinion, what will make the difference?
Usually, the success of a weekend depends on a lot of things. Everybody needs to do their job. It's very difficult to win, but also it is very easy to lose. Any mistake can lead to losing the title. Technically, the strategy will make a huge different. Also, it's the last race and some drivers will push even harder to show off for next season. We will have to stay focused all through the weekend.