Robert, James and Renger speak about their race. GP3 Series: Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to GP3 Series press conference for Race 1 in Hockenheim. Joining us today winner of the race Robert Wickens for Status GP. Second place James Jakes for ...
Robert, James and Renger speak about their race.
GP3 Series: Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to GP3 Series press conference for Race 1 in Hockenheim. Joining us today winner of the race Robert Wickens for Status GP. Second place James Jakes for Manor Racing and third place Renger van der Zande for Mucke RSC. Starting with you Robert, congratulations on this new win. It looked like everything happened at the start for you?
Robert Wickens: Yes, pretty much. I made a good start and managed to first pass James and then quickly after that I could pass Newgarden. Of course, it was not easy after that because we had two safety cars and I had to manage the restarts, but coming from racing in America, safety cars are not an issue for me. We have a lot of them there! But you know, I kept pushing all through the race and made sure that James would not catch me and that I would make no mistake. This is a fantastic result for the team and I am very happy.
GP3 Series: After a rough patch this season, do you feel like you are back on the right track?
Robert: Definitely. We have been unlucky at times and there have been more difficult times after Barcelona, but we definitely have the pace and we are working really hard at Status to fight for the championship. The most important thing for the remainder of the season is to keep doing what we are doing and score valuable points as much as possible.
GP3 Series: Like tomorrow?
Robert: Yeah, absolutely. I will be starting from eighth and it will be tough to get back on the podium, but it's doable, although, I'm thinking that I will at least go for points. I am second in the championship now and I need as many points as we can get.
GP3 Series: Thank you Robert and again, great job. Now James, your start has been more complicated, losing a position to Robert and never been able to catch him again...
James Jakes: Yes, my start was not perfect. I could not pass Newgarden and I could not hold off Wickens. His start was much better than mine. But after that, the car was not really perfect and I could not catch Robert.
GP3 Series: Your pace did not look as good as this morning's. Did you not find the right set up for the dry?
James: I don't know. We were really quick this morning and again, the car was quick this afternoon, but it just wasn't enough for the race to challenge Wickens. But this is a podium for us and although it's not satisfying because I really wanted to win, this is definitely a step in the right direction. At Manor, we are working hard and I think it has shown on the track for the past rounds. We are always one of the quickest, so now it's a matter of time until we put everything together and get a first win this season.
GP3 Series: Do you think it could be tomorrow?
James: No. I don't know. It will be tough, but for sure I will be pushing hard like I always do to try and get the best possible result.
GP3 Series: Thank you James. Renger, you look ecstatic...
Renger van der Zande: I am. I really am. You know, this podium is so important for me and the team because we have been struggling a lot since the beginning of the season. There's always been something going wrong to destroy our weekend. We had high expectations for this season and we have the pace. We have always a very good pace, but in the end, we are not where we were aiming at. And it's true that it's been very difficult on the team. This podium today is a great reward for all of us. It is so important to put back a smile on everyone's face and realise that all this hard work has not been for nothing. That smile is important.
GP3 Series: And it's not been an easy race for you as you had to hold off Gutierrez for most of the race. How difficult was that?
Renger: It wasn't that hard because I was mainly concentrating on exiting each corner better than him. I had no problem with tyre degradation and I kept a good pace. I wanted that podium so bad I had no intention of letting him pass! I made a good start and I passed Newgarden when I had the chance. When I realised that I could not catch Jakes, my main goal was to hold on tight to that podium. I had enough pace to do that.
GP3 Series: What are your expectations for tomorrow?
Renger: I will be starting sixth on the grid. It's not an easy track, but I like it and I feel comfortable here. Rain or shine, I will be pushing and get as many points as possible for the team. I like that smile on their faces. I want it to stick around for a while...