Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the GP3 qualifying press conference. Joining us today is poleman Nico Muller for Jenzer, second placed man Esteban Gutierrez for ART Grand Prix and third placed man Stefano Coletti for Tech 1 Racing. GP3 ...
Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the GP3 qualifying press conference. Joining us today is poleman Nico Muller for Jenzer, second placed man Esteban Gutierrez for ART Grand Prix and third placed man Stefano Coletti for Tech 1 Racing.
GP3 Series: Nico congratulations on your first pole position. Great job, you must be delighted?
Nico Muller: Yes, thanks a lot it was an interesting qualifying with a lot of yellow flags and some crashes so we all had to pay attention. It wasn't easy for me to get a proper lap, but in the end it was the same for everybody. It was pretty close in the end, but I'm happy to be on pole.
GP3 Series: How difficult was it to deal with the traffic? It's always a problem around this track.
Nico Muller: Sometimes there was a traffic jam in the last corner so you have to pay attention not to run into the traffic there but I think we did a bit better than the GP2 guys -- I watched the quail yesterday and they had a big mess there. I think we all did pretty well managing the traffic.
GP3 Series: What about the track conditions. Obviously we had rain last night. How did that effect you?
Nico Muller: It was a little bit wet in the beginning but it dried up very quickly so I think everyone was using slicks from the first lap onwards and I was using old tyres from yesterday first to test the track and I think it was a good strategy.
GP3 Series: Well it worked out fine for you and you're P1 for the race. What are your thoughts on that?
Nico Muller: From pole obviously you want to win the race and I need a good start, so I will concentrate very hard to do that.
GP3 Series: An exciting qualifying today and you did a great job to match Nico's time but you will be starting from second. Are you satisfied with your performance today?
Esteban Gutierrez: Yes as Nico said it was a difficult session, because to find the right time to do a quick lap was difficult as there was a lot of traffic and a few yellow flags Basically we managed to do a reasonable time in the first stint and then in the second stint on new tyres we really didn't have laps at the beginning so were a bit worried but we were trying to manage the very last lap. It wasn't perfect because I had a bit of traffic so in the end it was very challenging. We managed to get the lap and it was enough to get the best time but not P1.
GP3 Series: The session went faster and faster all the way through, clearly because it was a drying track. Was it just a factor of all the rubber being washed away or something else?
Esteban Gutierrez: Basically it was more because of the situation in the session. The track got try quite quickly and it was good conditions but it was more that we only found a free lap right at the end and we are very happy with the result. To be on the front row it is already a big step and we are looking forward to finding the right compromise for the race.
GP3 Series: P2 with the same time as pole, it's about as close as you can get but being on the clean side of the track makes a difference here. What's your strategy for the start?
Esteban Gutierrez: Well it will be a good start, and of course the start is very important. When you are on the front row you can gain or lose a lot. Yes we are on the inside and I hope it is quite grippy and I will just try to do my best and try to win the race.
GP3 Series: I imagine going into turn one you will just be looking for a clean start?
Esteban Gutierrez: Yes of course. I think right now it is time to not risk so much and to really take care of the points. It is very important to keep in the points. We are looking forward to finishing the race and I hope we can have a good race.
GP3 Series: Stefano congratulations on your best GP3 qualifying so far. How happy are you with your job today?
Stefano Coletti: I'm very happy. I mean we've been improving the car every race and had a big step forward last round in Hockenheim -- got a podium in Race 2. I think here we have shown we can be consistent and still improve. I'm really happy with the car this weekend. I mean the lap times are very very close and I'm only four hundredths off P2 and P1 so it was very tight, and like Esteban said a lot of yellow flags and only one flying lap possible so we did everything in one lap and made no mistakes which is what you have to do to get a good lap time.
GP3 Series: It's super tight here and you got it done on the last lap. How did you approach it?
Stefano Coletti: When I arrived at the yellow flag corner, I just thought right there are no more yellow flags and went for it. I knew it was probably the only chance I had to do a fast lap so I kept o pushing and arrived on the finish line and was pretty happy and then the team told me I was P2 so I was happy.
GP3 Series: You obviously have your best chance this year for a good result in the race. You've got one guy in front of you and P2 man on the dirty side of the track thinking about the championship, what are you thinking about?
Stefano Coletti: I just think that we are already in the top three so a podium would be good. If we have a good start of course I will try and pass and at least keep my position. I know Esteban is thinking about the championship so is not going to try anything stupid, but neither am I because for me it is good for me to be at the front and it's a big improvement for the team. We need to test the car and improve so we need to do as many lap as we can. The race will not finish in the first lap, it will be a long race and hopefully the car will be good.