NEWS

13/05/2012

Barcelona Sprint Race Top three driver quotes

Barcelona Sprint Race Top three driver quotes

Razia, Berthon and Valsecchi discuss the race

GP2 Series: Luiz, a lights to flag victory today, I guess you can't ask for more than that?

Luiz Razia: Yeah! I was pretty convinced that this race would not slip from my hands! I know I have a very good start, which I did, and I knew we had a good car from yesterday when we did the third quickest lap of the race, so we knew we had a quick car and it was just a case of managing tyres and keep people behind. It was a very special victory because today it is Mother's Day in Brazil, so it's for a good cause. I would like to dedicate this victory to my mother, and all the mothers in Brazil: they have a hard job, especially with the drivers! [laughs]

GP2 Series: I'm sure they have a hard time with you sometimes! [laughs] It looked like an easy victory from the outside, just manage the tyres and ease away from Berthon, but how was it for you in the car?

Luiz: It's difficult to drive under pressure, and Berthon was 0.6 seconds from me all the time, which is not comfortable for driving at the front! But I was just trying to manage him behind me, give him enough space but to not let him try to overtake me, so it was a difficult race in the driver's point of view because there's a lot going on, you have to manage the tyres when you expect them to go away at the end of the race, and to try to get the fastest lap possible because it's 2 points, which we did. So I'm very proud of the team, proud of everybody, but easy? It's never easy.

GP2 Series: And it's a nice way to round out the weekend, get a win and some more points after a difficult time in qualy...

Luiz: Yeah, qualifying was not perfect for us, P13 was not in the plan: we made a wrong decision going on the prime tyres for the first part of the session, when Barcelona is a place where the first 10 minutes are the best ones. We did it wrong, we gambled but it didn't go our way, but in Monaco we've got to make sure that we get it spot on in qualifying.

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GP2 Series: Nathanael, congratulations on P2 and your first podium in GP2: how does it feel?

Nathanael Berthon: Yeah, it's a wonderful weekend for me and the team, although unfortunately not so much for my teammate because of everything yesterday. For me I'm really happy, and for my team, the engineers and mechanics who are working a lot during the year. Now for sure it's my first podium in GP2, and I hope not the last! I will keep working like this for more.

GP2 Series: It's hard to get a result here, because the teams and drivers know it so well, but you had a very mature, consistent race today for this result: is that the best part of this result for you?

Nathanael: This is my strongest point, my race pace: I still need to improve my qualifying performance because yesterday I started P10, it's better than in Kuala Lumpur or Sakhir but it can be better. If I can start on the front row, we saw today it can be a big advantage, so I have to work on my qualifying: my race pace is there, so with better qualy I can push for really good results.

GP2 Series: How were the tyres today?

Nathanael: Well, it's a question mark: it was not like Bahrain or Kuala Lumpur, we didn't feel such a drop off, and maybe it's because all the team knows the car and the set up here in Barcelona, and I think also the drivers expected more of a drop off and so drove in a safer way. But my car was incredible today, and I just want to thank my engineers and mechanics a lot for giving me the car to do it.

GP2 Series: And next stop Monaco: what are your thoughts?

Nathanael: It's my favourite city, so I will enjoy to be there! I haven't had so much luck there: I was 6th the first year and the second year I had the problem in qualifying so I started from the back, okay I finished 10th so it was a good race, but in Monaco if you don't start at the front it's really hard to overtake. So I hope for some good luck like this weekend, and everything will be alright!

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GP2 Series: Davide, a nice podium to round out the weekend, which probably didn't go the way you hoped, but are you happy with the result today?

Davide Valsecchi: I am happy: today was really good, perfect. We were maybe a bit lucky at the start [laughs], it was not so easy, but this is one of the best circuits in the world, and I think to drive here is really great, but to overtake it's not so easy. Today I was third after the first corner, and we finished third: my car was competitive enough to win, and thanks to the team for this, and over the weekend we were always improving. I think today we had the pace to win, but Razia made a great job today: he was a bit lucky yesterday, but today when he needed it he really deserved it, so I give my congratulations to Arden and to him, as well as Berthon. I tried to attack but there was not really the opportunity here to try to overtake, because you need to be 1.5 seconds quicker, and we were not.

GP2 Series: It's always hard to overtake - it looked like you were quicker than Berthon in the first half, but then it looked like Calado was quicker than you in the second half: were you worried about him?

Davide: It's not really true - Calado was really competitive, but it's a bit extreme to say he was better than me, because at the end we were taking a gap to Berthon to try to make the best lap time, and every time we recovered one second in one lap, and also Calado was doing this as well. He was competitive, for sure, but not really better than me: better than me today was only Razia, I think. We were unlucky in qualifying because we found the yellow flag on the quick lap, and also others like Gutierrez: he could have had pole for sure but he was unlucky, and we could have been maybe P2 or P3, so this destroyed a bit the weekend, but I was happy that we could find the way back to get this result.

GP2 Series: But a podium today and more points ahead of Monaco: things could be worse...

Davide: For sure, we recovered a situation from Friday, so I'm more happy than in the second weekend in Bahrain: our aim now is to go to Monte Carlo to fight with the top drivers and teams, van der Garde, Gutierrez, Calado, Leimer, Razia, and we will try to stay with them. And then the best one will win, and I hope that one will be me.

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