GP2 Series: Nico, two races two wins at your home circuit for the perfect weekend: how does it feel? Nico Hulkenberg: You know, wins always feel great: I don't mind if they're here, Monaco, in Hungary or wherever, a win is a win. At home in ...
GP2 Series: Nico, two races two wins at your home circuit for the perfect weekend: how does it feel?
Nico Hulkenberg: You know, wins always feel great: I don't mind if they're here, Monaco, in Hungary or wherever, a win is a win. At home in Germany maybe it's a little bit extra nice, but it's not a big deal for me. It's just having a great weekend, always do the right thing, it's good.
GP2 Series: Did you expect to challenge for the win today? The conditions were quite tricky, and you had a few guys to get past at turn one...
Nico: First of all I had a very bad start, and I lost one or two places but at the first corner I got one back, and I think two guys crashed at the front so it was up to P5 at the first corner, and the car again felt very good and competitive and I could overtake two or three guys and went into second place, and followed Petrov quite easily after that. I think he was pushing hard, and maybe damaging his tyres a little bit, and then the team told me he had a drive through penalty so I just took it steady: he went into the box and from then on it was just bringing it back home.
GP2 Series: After that it looked easy once again. Do you think you had the pace to have fought with him if he hadn't come in?
Nico: I think just the last two laps before he came in for his drive through I was closing the gap quite quickly, and I think I saved my tyres a bit more: if it came down to a fight at the end I think I had better chances because I saved my tyres more.
GP2 Series: This was only the second perfect weekend ever in GP2, with Nelson Piquet the other guy to get one, with the 20 points putting you into the championship lead: what does that mean to you at this stage?
Nico: It means that we are first, and that we have to keep that position for the next five events and then we are happy! [laughs]
GP2 Series: Alvaro, finally on the podium that you have been looking for all season: how does it feel?
Alvaro Parente: Great for the weekend really, starting on the Saturday race. We've been very competitive everywhere really, maybe not Barcelona but everywhere else, qualifying third in Silverstone, sixth in Monaco, so always in the points area, but it just hasn't come together because of people crashing into me, Petrov crashing into me [laughs], me making a big mistake in Turkey. So this weekend it all came together, and maybe the ultimate pace we were stronger in Turkey than here with these soft tyres, but we are working on them in the right direction. It is coming together this weekend, and it had to come because we've been fast all the time, so we'll keep working until the end of the season.
GP2 Series: As you say, you've had so much bad luck, and this race was so chaotic that it seems almost incredible that you got through it: talk me through you first couple of laps.
Alvaro: I think the thing was there: I had a really good start and got to first, and as soon as I braked and tried to turn into the first corner I looked in my mirrors and I saw Petrov more or less locked up, and seeing that he was not going to make the corner if I turned in where I wanted, so I couldn't turn in or I'd have him on top or crashing into me. It's not very normal with him again, and also in Silverstone he did the same thing, so I don't have any respect for him. It's just not very normal: if I turned in where I wanted then we would have crashed, and that's it. After that Hulkenberg had an extreme pace, and a lot more general grip than me, but towards the end we were kind of alright. I think we just needed a bit more grip at the start of the race, especially at the rear, but towards the end we were okay: it was quite difficult to overtake Kobayashi as well, because for most of the race he was the same pace as me or even a little bit faster, but at the end I was much faster and I managed to get past him, and that was it.
GP2 Series: It was a hell of a fight between you and Kobayashi, and then Petrov joined in too...
Alvaro: Yeah Petrov, he was so much faster, and also Grosjean, so they must have found a good arrangement for today in terms of car balance.
GP2 Series: The second podium for you guys this year: what does this do for the team?
Alvaro: Here it brings what we deserved for a long time already, and is good for all the work that we have been doing. Here it shows the speed that we've been showing in qualifying, it all came together, and it's good, you know? We deserve it, we should be there, and we're going to try and stay in the points, and hopefully podiums, from now.
GP2 Series: Kamui, great job today to get on the podium in a very exciting race: how was it for you inside the car?
Kamui Kobayashi: I had a good start, and was lucky as well: I had a good start and I think that normally I couldn't get second position because everyone was maybe braking late at turn one already or missing everybody, but I was still in a good position after turn one, and then I tried to push to catch Petrov but he was pretty fast, and later I tried to push but Nico was faster than me: I tried to protect my position but the speed was very different and I couldn't. After I tried to catch them, but really they were too fast.
GP2 Series: You had a nice fight with Parente all day today...
Kamui: Yeah, at the end of the race I had some problem I think the tyres or something, and after that my pace was not good and it was not possible to push anymore, and I had to soak my tyres to keep them cool. Finally Parente, when he came, I didn't expect he would come through at that point and we touched a little bit, and I had some problem with my steering wheel but I was still running. And the last few laps Petrov was at a really fast pace and I had to just think no mistakes, no mistakes, and have to push: finally I made a mistake but I kept my place. It's difficult, and we have to improve our pace and general performance: this event we had maybe some luck with a good start, but generally we need to improve the performance, and this is very important for us for the future.
GP2 Series: What can you do to improve that? The pace is a bit different here because of the conditions this weekend, ART and Addax looked untouchable, but what can you do to get back on terms with them?
Kamui: I don't know what we can do. [pause] It's a really difficult thing: compared to dry conditions we are really close, but in dry conditions we are maybe one second behind, and if this was dry conditions I think I would be ... I think I would not be on the podium.
GP2 Series: Maybe you have to hope for rain for the rest of the year...
Kamui: No, I don't care about the weather, I just care about the general performance. I hope we can catch them soon, because it's very important that we improve. But we will work hard.