GP2 Asia Series conference from Abu Dhabi.
GP2 Series: Christian, congratulations. GP2 race winner, how does that sound?
Christian Vietoris: It sounds really good, especially on my first GP2 race weekend. Things didn’t start very well, in Free Practice we were struggling. It was a little bit better in qualifying, but still not good enough as I was P13. Our pace was not good, but we improved. I finished 6th yesterday and finally won today. It feels good.
GP2 Series: You had a good start while the front runners did not…
Christian: The start was important. It was not perfect. I still have to work on it. And also, we have to work on our race pace. I didn’t use the tyres very well. I think I need more experience in this car. I need to get used to how to use the tyres a little bit better. But in the end, it was a good weekend.
GP2 Series: Kral closed in on you at some point. Did that worry you?
Christian: No, not really. At that time, I was taking care of my tyres; that’s why he came closer, but after that I managed to pull away again. So it was all the way like that. I kept control of the race. Of course, it was a bit lucky that Valsecchi was stuck in traffic. He was much faster than me, but that’s part of racing.
GP2 Series: How did you manage your first GP2 race weekend?
Christian: It is very different to what I’m used to. You have to be competitive from the very first minute of Free Practice. There’s no time to adjust. And it’s hard for a rookie to do it. You need to get used to the car. But that’s how it is. With this win, I am more confident. I’m quite happy with this result. It was the first time yesterday that I had a pitstop and the first time that I have the clutch with the steering wheel. But now I’m looking forward to the next round. I think we can definitely go for the win in Race 1. We still have a lot of work to do. But DAMS is a very good team and I am sure that we can do great things again together.
GP2 Series: Davide, another great race today. Starting from eight and finishing second, how did you do that?
Davide Valsecchi: I don’t know! We were special again today. The car was unbelievable. The driver’s job is so much easier with that. If you are confident, and the car is brilliant, you can do just about anything. That’s what happened today. It was perfect. iSport is a great team; sure they know how to make a great car, but also, they made me part of their family. That’s special. And I had so much fun overtaking cars!
GP2 Series: Do you think we should name Turn 11 “Valsecchi’s corner”?
Davide: (Laughs) No, no… Anyway, I was very fast here. It was harder than yesterday because we had the limiter at the end of the straight today. Still, it was great to overtake there.
GP2 Series: Was the race one lap too short?
Davide: No. I tried to overtake Filippi four laps earlier and he protected his position better than yesterday. So it took me longer to overtake him. And after that, I saw that I could overtake Turvey on the straight! But, you know, don’t think about “What if there had been one more lap?” There was no more lap and Vietoris completely deserved his win. He did a really good job and I am extremely satisfied with nineteen points scored this weekend. It’s fine that way.
GP2 Series: Josef, you had a great first GP2 race weekend. And this podium is a nice reward…
Josef Kral: Well, it’s true that we have been strong all weekend. Although I could have finished stronger in qualifying on Friday, but I don’t think I managed it well enough. I was P3 on the first set of tyres, but on the second set of tyres, Vietoris slowed me down in my flying lap… I finished ninth which is okay for a first, but I could have been quicker. The first race but good, but we had a problem with the rear wheel, but it was my mistake at the pitstop. So today, I wanted to do better and this podium is perfect.
GP2 Series: How was your race today?GP2 Series: The safety car period didn’t help you either…
Josef: It was good. I think I could have had a better start, but Cecotto stalled in front of me. I had to avoid him. Without that, I think there is a big chance I would have been first into the first corner. I overtook Turvey in the first corner and I pushed hard after that. But the car was over-steering a little bit. It got better in the second half of the race and I got closer to Christian, but because my tyres were wearing off, I couldn’t overtake him. It was pretty tricky. I wanted to keep my pace and stay behind him.
Josef: That’s for sure. All the grid came together and at the restart, Valsecchi overtook Rossi and I could see him getting closer and closer… His pace was amazing. And I couldn’t really fight him. When he passed me I thought “How can he do that?” It’s like he went by flashing! But, you know, this podium is a great result and I didn’t want to lose it. I scored precious points this weekend and this is great.
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