Perez, Maldonado and Bianchi comment their session GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for this afternoon's qualifying session here in Valencia. In pole position we have Sergio Perez from Addax, in second place we...
Perez, Maldonado and Bianchi comment their session
GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for this afternoon's qualifying session here in Valencia. In pole position we have Sergio Perez from Addax, in second place we have Pastor Maldonado from Rapax, and in third place we have Jules Bianchi from ART. Sergio, congratulations on pole today after first in free practice this morning, although you left it to the last minute in qualifying! How was it for you?
Sergio Perez: It was pretty hard out there -- on my first set I was P2 behind Pastor, and I was two or three tenths off but I didn't have a really good lap, I had some traffic on my quick lap, and I knew it was going to be really, really tough to get pole. After I had such a good practice I was really expecting pole, and in the last attempt it was just a really, really good lap: in the first sector even though I had some traffic, for the second and third sectors it was really great and I was able to finish the lap well, and it was enough to get pole!
GP2 Series: That last lap was a much better lap than you had managed before: was it just traffic, or was there something else?
Sergio: No, I would say I just got a good lap together with no mistakes, and it was what put me on pole.
GP2 Series: The team always does well here, and you were very quick here last too: what is it about this circuit that just works for you?
Sergio: I think overall it's quite a good circuit: it's quite hard on braking, quite hard on tyres, so I think the race for tomorrow is going to be really tough! For tomorrow I like the place, and I think we have a really competitive car for the race.
GP2 Series: And what do you think will happen in the race?
Sergio: I hope I can stay in the same position as now! [laughs] It's going to be very tough tomorrow with Pastor and Jules, and the rest of the field behind me, but I hope I can get a clear start and control the race from there.
GP2 Series: Congratulations. Pastor, a great job by you today to lead the way right up until the last minute when Sergio just squeaked through: how do you feel about the session today?
Pastor Maldonado: A bit disappointed, for sure, but I think my qualifying today was really good, especially right at the beginning with my set up on the new tyres. With the second set I wasn't able to find my best lap time, but it was still very constant on the laps. Tomorrow is going to be very interesting in the race, very long, and I think it's going to be be really interesting.
GP2 Series: You seemed to be the only one who could manage to do consistent laptimes throughout the session, while the others seemed to improve just at the end rather than being at the level the whole time: did you have a problem at the end, or were you already at the maximum time before that?
Pastor: We just lost some general grip in the car at the last moment, because we did some modifications to the car in the middle of the session, and it was not so good: it was better at the beginning. The most important thing, I think, is that my car is very constant, and I can feel confident for tomorrow.
GP2 Series: You're on the front row tomorrow, you'll have a set up you prefer, and the run to the first corner is pretty short: any thoughts on what will happen at the start?
Pastor: It's going to be interesting! [laughs] But it's difficult to say: for sure I will do my best, from the start until the end, but it's difficult to say now. I hope to do well tomorrow, to score points and to be on the podium, and why not win?
GP2 Series: Great job. Jules, congratulations for this afternoon, and it's good to see you back here in the press conference. You seemed to have a fairly quiet day until the last minute when you popped up in P3, but how was it from your seat?
Jules Bianchi: Yeah, the qualy was a bit difficult for me: the car was good, but I had some traffic and I did some mistakes so I couldn't get every sector in the same lap, but I knew that we were competitive. I was not thinking about the pole position because I saw that the lap of Pastor was very far away on the first set, so I was just concentrating on my job and I just wanted to make a perfect lap, or a good lap, to come back because after the first set we were back in P8. So it was not a great qualifying for me but in the end I did a good lap, and I'm quite happy because we improved a lot with the car, and after Istanbul obviously to be in the first three here is really good.
GP2 Series: You were looking for a perfect lap: did you get it?
Jules: Not really! [laughs] It's difficult, really difficult, to make a perfect lap: I did a little mistake on braking in corner 13, but that's happened and to be honest I think even if I made a good braking it was not possible for me to be on pole position today.
GP2 Series: Nevertheless it's a good performance to be in the top three after a couple of disappointing runs: how much does this mean to you and the team?
Jules: It means a lot: Pastor is really far away in the championship and we want to come back, he's in front so we have to move ahead tomorrow and to do a good race. For sure they will be fast, and I will try to do a good start and then see what happens: if I am behind I will try to stay behind them and do the same consistency as them. I know that here is very difficult because the tyres can go away really fast, for me, but we will work tonight and for tomorrow we will try to do a good start. I watch a video of last year, and you can see that it's pretty easy to crash at the first corner, so I will try to do my best and not make any mistakes.
GP2 Series: You're the top rookie here: how did you approach a circuit like this?
Jules: It's a really good circuit, really nice, really fast, I really like it. I want to be in the first position, I don't just look at the rookies: it's really good to be the first rookie but I want to look a bit at my driving because I still have some more performance, and we need to push.