Valencia SC: Qualifying press conference

Valencia Qualifying Press Conference GP2 Series: Nico, congratulations on another pole position. You've been fast here all day: was it as easy inside the car as it looked from the outside? Nico Hulkenberg: Well not easy: you still have to ...

Valencia Qualifying Press Conference

GP2 Series: Nico, congratulations on another pole position. You've been fast here all day: was it as easy inside the car as it looked from the outside?

Nico Hulkenberg: Well not easy: you still have to drive it, at the end of the day! [laughs] The car felt really good, I felt comfortable in the car, and I think we have a good package again: I just did a decent lap and I'm happy with the result.

GP2 Series: It can be a pretty tricky place to get a really good set up here, but you're car seemed very easy to drive: what do you put that down to?

Nico: What, compared to the others? Yeah, I think ART put the car together well, and from the beginning I felt comfortable, and I like this circuit: it's a good rhythm, quite flowing.

GP2 Series: And it's a good way to come back from the holidays...

Nico: Yeah for sure, but it doesn't matter about holidays or whatever, pole is pole: the good thing about it is two points and a good position for tomorrow. And of course, we will be trying to put this into a good result.

GP2 Series: It is the best place to start the race tomorrow: how hard do you think it will be to overtake on this circuit?

Nico: Watching the videos from last year you saw that it's possible to overtake, especially at the last corner, and if there's a massive difference in the speed of the cars it's possible, but again it's not easy.

GP2 Series: Vitaly, second today and I imagine you were looking for a bit more than that today, but for a bit of bad luck at the end: what happened?

Vitaly Petrov: Yes it's true, I had a problem with the battery: we still don't know exactly what was the problem, but we lost the battery completely so we lost the gearbox, and we had to stop. Today we wanted something more because we were really quick, and we knew exactly what we wanted to do here, we analysed everything, and the team prepared really well for this race. Today on the first set it was just one tenth between Nico and me, he was 45.3 and I was 45.4, and I was expecting it would be on the second set that we would improve. So it was very interesting to see what happened, but it was very bad luck: I prefer even to be in third place, not second...

GP2 Series: Because it's the dirty side of the track?

Vitaly: Yes. I remember here last year, and I know this year too the left side is very, very dirty, so it will be very, very difficult. I think tonight I will take the broom and I'll go to wash it! [laughs]

GP2 Series: Maybe you should!

Vitaly: Maybe if they give it to me, I'll do it! Because here it is very difficult to overtake, and this is the dirty side, so I might need it!

GP2 Series: But you seem to be the only guy out there today with the pace of Nico, so at least if you get a good start you've got a great chance...

Vitaly: Of course, but it's very, very difficult on my side. But we'll try to do something: we know our car is better in the race conditions, so we'll need to see what happens at the start. It depends on the tactics they use, it depends on the tactics we take.

GP2 Series: And it's the team's home track, so they'll be pulling out all the stops to get you the win.

Vitaly: Yeah, I hope so!

GP2 Series: Lucas, third here today: happy with your work today?

Lucas di Grassi: Yeah, pretty satisfied. Top three is not a bad position to win the race tomorrow, but I think it could have been a little bit better if I didn't get blocked on my fast lap, but I was not able to catch pole position today: Hulkenberg was too fast on both sets, so we have to make sure we work hard to get the most out of the car tomorrow. I had a small mechanical problem on the last lap with the gearbox, but everything has been fixed and it was just one sensor, as far as I know.

GP2 Series: It seems as though there was a bit of a gap between Hulkenberg and Petrov and the rest of you guys: do you think you can find that pace overnight to challenge tomorrow?

Lucas: For the race everything changes: you have to change the set up, it's 32 laps, it's very hot, and I think the physical conditions will make a big difference. ART have been really fast in race one, like in Budapest: Hulkenberg did the fastest lap one lap from the end, while our car doesn't have this performance, so my focus is to get the best out of my car, to get the best result, and I think for Sunday's race if tomorrow is not possible.

GP2 Series: You really need to take some points out of both of these guys now. You start on the right side of the track tomorrow, at least: do you think you get by them and go for the win?

Lucas: Well, it's what I'm going to do: I'm going to try to do whatever I can to get P1, and for me it's a special race and I won here last year on Sunday, so let's see how it goes.

-credit: gp2

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Lucas di Grassi , Vitaly Petrov , Nico Hulkenberg