NEWS

28/07/2012

Budapest Feature race press conference

Budapest Feature race press conference

Chilton, Valsecchi and Razia discuss the race

GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's feature race here in Budapest: joining us today are Max Chilton from Carlin, in second we have Davide Valsecchi from DAMS, and in third place we have Luiz Razia from Arden. Max Chilton, race winner: how does that sound?

Max Chilton: It sounds pretty damn good to me! [laughs] I'm absolutely over the moon: for it to come like that, in the feature race with the pitstop, it was ideal. I had the best start I think I've ever had, the opening stint was pretty easy, we did a really good pitstop, and it only got a little bit challenging with 15 laps to go when we started to catch backmarkers: because they hadn't pitted they weren't allowed to be shown the blue flags, which is obviously racing rules, but it made it very challenging for me because I had to start pushing to overtake. I was losing downforce and ruining my tyres, and I was holding these guys [points to Valsecchi and Razia] up behind, and it was all getting a little bit close! [laughs] Luckily we came out in the same order that we came into the backmarkers, and it was a little bit close with 6 laps to go: I pulled away a little bit, and then Davide put in a really good lap and the team said you need to pull half a second, and it was like that to the end, really. We had enough for the last laps, and it was just a perfect race, really!

GP2 Series: That period behind Leal was quite hairy with these guys behind you, until you got free and could drive a great lap to shake them a little: what was going through you mind there?

Max: It was one of those things: I didn't know what he [Leal] was going to do because he was in front of me in the actual race standings, so I didn't know if I made a move whether he was going to shut the door. There was one time coming down the front straight, I had a good run on him and a good tow but I think they were running less downforce, and he started to pull away again into braking zone, and I was in the marbles: I had to brake earlier and he shut the door, so that made it into turn 2 very close. I had Davide around the outside, Razia was attacking Valsecchi, and it was all a bit up in arms for a good lap! It all settled down when he finally peeled in.

Davide Valsecchi: You almost crashed with him when he pitted in...

Max: Yeah! He left it really late to pit: he went left and then shot right, and I was very happy when he did that [laughs] but it would have been nice if he did it 2 or 3 laps before!

GP2 Series: In the last couple of laps they closed you back down: was that a case of running out of tyres, were you just allowing them to close up, or something else?

Max: The car was absolutely brilliant - I never really had any problems - so it was slightly wary that we would just come and hit the wall like that: I didn't want to pull a bigger gap and ruin my tyres and be stuck at the end, so I just kind of kept that half a second or second gap as long as I could. Davide made that a bit tight at the end [laughs], but I pulled away when needed, and it was a dream come true at the end.

GP2 Series: What does this win mean firstly for you, and also for Carlin?

Max: For Carlin it means a lot: we've just won the GP3 as well, and we won the F3 at Spa, so it's a hat trick today for Carlin, which is brilliant. For a kind of new team it's good to put the win out there and show that we've got the speed, and I'm over the moon that it's with Carlin. It was a really enjoyable race, Valsecchi was behind me but was never making stupid moves, and I was comfortable where I was, and very thankful for it.

GP2 Series: And for you? This win has been coming for a while now...

Max: Yeah, I think I've had the speed and the chance for a win, but it's never come together: it's one of those things, you need everything to come together, and today is the day. Now I've got both pole and race win off my shoulders, hopefully I can keep the momentum going.

GP2 Series: Great job today. Davide, congratulations on P2 today: you worked hard but had this guy right in front of you for the whole race, but how was it for you out there today?

Davide Valsecchi: It seems looking after it that all of the race was decided in the first lap, because Chilton had the lead after the first corner, I was second and then Razia, and at the end we were in the same position. But it was not this simple, because when Chilton found the slower guys in front of him they were not easy to overtake: it was not so easy to have the space to overtake, and it was really risky! I risked a bit at the moment when I had the fight with Razia: he had to find a way to overtake me when we were in the battle, but in the end I saved the position so all was clear. I had the speed to win, to stay with the leader, so I was happy: it was not easy to overtake because Chilton was so fast today, the fastest for sure in the first stint, and in the end I finished close to him but it was not enough Chilton and Carlin were too good today, and I congratulate them.

GP2 Series: I think you started on super soft tyres, and Max on the medium compound: how was the difference today?

Davide: I don't know: in the end it was not a big difference because me and Razia behind were able to catch him. Okay, we lost a bit in the beginning, but no more that 1.5 to 2 seconds, so I think there was not a huge difference in the tyres. The difference was made by changing only 2 rear tyres for him, which makes the pitstop a bit quicker: his ones had to change 2, my ones had to change all 4, and we were maybe one or two seconds more, and in the end the position didn't change, so the tyres were not a huge difference today.

GP2 Series: Do you spend any time thinking about the championship in a race like this?

Davide: It's not so easy because you don't have so much time in the race! When I was very close to Chilton, and he was very close to a car in front, in corner one I prepared to be faster in the exit and make something in the second corner, but Razia made a great manoeuvre and surprised me a bit! I was able to save my place, but that was the only particular hot moment in the race: I just tried to stay close to Chilton in case something could come at the end, but it didn't come.

GP2 Series: Luiz, congratulations on P3 and a fairly dramatic race, but a lot happened for you in the first lap: can you talk us through what happened?

Luiz Razia: I think the main objective here was to show the pace in qualifying and in race one, and we did. Qualifying yesterday was very close, so one tenth brought me P5, and I did work a lot between Hockenheim and here on the starts, and we actually found something so I could just from fifth to third. That was really good, and on my first stint I was faster than Davide, so I tried pitting earlier but it was no difference because he pitted on the next lap and when he came out we were together. I had a real chance to overtake down to turn one when we had the traffic: I went for the gap but unfortunately on corner 2 we were squeezed by Chilton and everybody was there! It was a very fun race and I did enjoy it, the job was done today, and tomorrow is another race. We're looking forward to it.

GP2 Series: You had a go in traffic, but I got the sense that you were being slightly conservative because there was a lot to risk: is that fair?

Luiz: Well no, I was not conservative and was attacking all the time: I had Calado behind me so I had to keep attacking, because attack is the best form of defence. One time I could go to overtake Davide and I did, but unfortunately at corner 2 I was squeezed, but the only chance I had I did it. I'm very pleased with that, and the whole race I think was very close: the 3 cars had an equal pace, we finished the race with 1.2 seconds between the 3 drivers, so it was very close. It was very fair from Davide not push me off the track, and it's good to have drivers who fight in a fair way: it's really pleasant.

GP2 Series: It is a very tight, technical circuit: is it just the layout of the track that means you can't really fight completely against each other?

Luiz: This season it is a bit different because turn 14 was resurfaced, and that means there is good grip there and the tyres aren't degrading like last year: it is more constant because of that corner, and that means there was not so much overtaking! [laughs] It is a difficult circuit to overtake on: there is only one straight, and that is due to the excellent exit from turn 14, but because that is good it means there weren't many overtakes! [laughs]

GP2 Series: And what can we expect tomorrow?

Luiz: We can expect a good start [laughs], try to take some places and see how it goes: it's going to be difficult for Max on the super softs [laughs], but for me and Davide we'll see: we have the new primes, save the tyres, and then push.

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