Saturday, 21 May 2011 18:30
GP2 Series conference from Barcelona - Post Feature Race thoughts and opinions from Charles Pic, Giedo van der Garde and Sam Bird
GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's feature race here in Barcelona. Joining us is race winner Charles Pic from Addax, in second place we have Giedo van der Garde from Addax, and in third place we have Sam Bird from iSport.
Charles, congratulations on a strong drive which ended in a possibly surprising win, how was it for you today?
Charles Pic: My start was okay, I conserved my position during the first 8 to 10 laps until Sam's tyres began to degrade, I then tried to overtake him but it was very, very hard!
So I preferred to save my tyres and he decided to pit, so the pit had the right strategy to stop me directly, and so we passed him during the pit stop. After that Giedo had a little problem in his pit stop so we passed him, and I wasn't expecting to be in first position! [laughs] After that I was trying to manage the degradation, and that's it!
GP2 Series: The pit stop was big moment of the race, were just waiting for Sam to pit, or were you planning to come in around that time?
Charles: No it was not planned before the race, it was the team who chose to stop me one lap after, and again it was the right strategy and why we passed him, in the pit stop.
GP2 Series: You had another restart later in the race, any concerns about the guys behind?
Charles: No, I was focussed to save my tyres, especially because the front was a problem in high speed, so I was focussed to keep the natural balance, and we did it.
GP2 Series: Great job today. Giedo, congratulations on P2 today, I suspect you were hoping for a bit more, but nevertheless another podium and the lead in the championship. Are you happy with your job today?
Giedo van der Garde: Yes, I'm happy, but the win was there. I think we were incredibly fast today, and the car was handling really, really good, so thank you to the team because they gave me a brilliant car today. I think we were fast and going to a good point in the lead, more or less five or six seconds.
The strategy was not planned, we had an option to go for two or four tyres, but because we had a big gap we said let's go for four tyres because we will make it, we did it, but we struggled on the left rear, I let of the clutch a little early too, so we lost two or three seconds. It can happen but it's a pity, because this was our race.
GP2 Series: After you came out behind Charles, was there any chance to take the fight to him?
Giedo: At the restart I tried but as you know, if you come too close at the final corner you lose such an amount of downforce, even more than last year I think. Anyway I tried to attack, I was waiting for him to make a little mistake, I was hanging around on his arse [laughs] but it's very hard here to overtake. It's a one-two, it's brilliant for the team, it's good for my points so far this weekend, we still have one race to go this weekend, and my aim is to go for more points tomorrow.
GP2 Series: It looked like you guys had the pace on everyone today, including Sam, how did you manage the tyres considering the pace in the car?
Giedo: I think we did a really, really good thing in preparation last week, when we came home from Istanbul our biggest problem was rear tyres, we saw that iSport were extremely fast in Istanbul, especially with the tyre handling, and of course I know a little bit the set-up they were running as I know their strategy because I used to race there, so we talking within the team and made some changes to the car, and it worked out perfectly today. As you saw we were both the quickest, I did the quickest lap times, so a big thumbs up for the team.
GP2 Series: Great job today. Sam, congratulations on P3 today, three podiums from three races, but I suspect you too were hoping for a little more today, but are you happy with your efforts today?
Sam Bird: Yeah, it's nice to get another podium. First of all, congratulations to Addax, they were the team to beat today, and they were extremely quick. It would be nice to say we could have won today, and that is a thought that may linger in the back of my head a little bit, the pit stop wasn't particularly good, and when I was released it was into a train of back-markers, which cost me quite a bit of time.
But no taking it away from these guys, they did a mega job, and I suppose a part of mounting a championship challenge is this was not a brilliant race for us but it's still a podium. I'm going away from it a little disappointed, but it's still third position, it's not that bad.
GP2 Series: You were pretty much setting the pit stop strategy for the whole race, how did you come to decide to come in when you did?
Sam: Definitely Giedo did the clever thing in qualy and basically saved a set of tyres, we weren't to know that, I thought I could get pole position, so I went out on my second set. It worked out very well for him, and it meant that he could push very hard in the first stint whereas I tried to manage my tyres a little more, and even with managing them I degraded a little bit, which enabled Charles to get onto the back of me. When I felt them go a little bit too far I thought it was time to pit, so that was that, really.
GP2 Series: So it was something you had to do?
Sam: Well I didn't have to, I could have held on for a couple more laps, but I felt that if I came in at that time I would stay ahead and potentially catch up Giedo a little bit, and I was putting on my fresher set from qualifying, Giedo was putting on his worse set, but take nothing away from these guys, they just did a better job today.
GP2 Series: We do it all over again tomorrow, and you're a little closer to the front than these guys, any chance of four podiums from four?
Sam: Anything can happen, we've done it before, we can do it again. We've got a little bit of homework now to try and improve the car a little bit, we've got a few things to do to make it even better, the race is I think 26 laps tomorrow, if there's no Safety Car then that's going to be a really interesting race, because there are some people who are going to be down to their rims!
Giedo: It's going to be a slow, slow race to the end.
Sam: Yeah, and then it's going to be dictated by Bianchi and whoever is at the front, if they go charging off then some people will go with them, some people will decide okay, I'll back it off and go at the end. Make a good start and you never know, tomorrow's going to be an interesting race.
If you found this service informative please be kind and leave a tip.