GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's feature race here in Silverstone. Joining us today we have Esteban Gutiérrez from Lotus GP, in second place we have Johnny Cecotto from Addax, and in third we have Jolyon Palmer from iSport.
Esteban, congratulations on another strong win: you had a little bit of luck with Fabio's problems, but I guess you must be satisfied with the strategy and your job today?
Esteban Gutiérrez: Yes, today it was very tricky conditions in the beginning, and of course it was very important to avoid any mistakes on that side, and then after that a good strategy. I think that worked today, because after the pitstop we were able to make some quick laps, and I was able to go in the front, to overtake other cars after the pitstop. After the safety car came Fabio didn't pit at that moment, and I knew about that, so at the restart I was trying to be very consistent, to be very easy with everything I was doing, and to be very clean: I was just trying to enjoy the car, because in these conditions it's really interesting, and a big pleasure to drive the car like this.
GP2 Series: We're sitting on the pit wall getting wet, you're in the car in the middle of all that: can you explain what it's like to be driving in those changing conditions?
Esteban: Well, it's like an adventure at the beginning, because you don't know where is the reference, you don't know exactly what the car will do in certain corners, and after this there is an evolution on the track, and on the car as well because the tyres are degrading a little bit, the temperature of the tyres are coming up and at the same time the track is getting drier, so this is something that is important to adapt, to the circumstances, and to try to be consistent from then on and to try to get on the race.
GP2 Series: Difficult conditions yesterday and today, but different conditions too: how do you manage that, and in particular manage the tyres when you don't know exactly what is going to happen with them?
Esteban: For me the biggest chance from yesterday to today was the downforce: the level is not the same, and in the wet you can really feel the difference, especially on the quick corners. To manage this is really interesting [laughs], especially at the beginning because we had no reference for how the car is going to grip and everything. Generally it's very nice, and something really enjoyable to have!
GP2 Series: Two feature race wins in a row puts you up to P3 in the championship: what does that mean to you?
Esteban: For right now I don't think about the championship, and I don't think so much about the results, but rather to keep the rhythm and to focus on what has developed this result, the work behind the scenes: this is important for the team, and also for me personally.
GP2 Series: When you look at the season as a whole, does it mean more for you and the team get this little run of results now?
Esteban: We definitely need to use this good energy, these good results, to keep the motivation high, but of course we can not get confident about this: it's important to just keep cold headed, to try to get the most of each opportunity that comes in front of us.
GP2 Series: Congratulations. Johnny, started P2 and finished P2, although with a different guy in front of you each time, and I guess the turning point of the race for you was the pit stop: how was the race from your view?
Johnny Cecotto: It was a difficult race because the conditions were really difficult, and at the beginning of the race I tried to conserve my tyres a bit, and also we had a set up which we thought it was going to dry quicker, a semi dry set up, so I was struggling a bit in the first part compared to Fabio. I think when the safety car came out was the moment where I was starting to gain a bit, and then we came in for the pitstop: it was really last second, I just saw the safety car boards come up while I was going to the pit entry. I came in, and there we lost a lot of time in the pitstop, about 7 seconds, and that made me lose the race in the end because I came out of the pitlane about half a second behind Esteban.
It was really a shame because we had the potential to win the race, after the bad luck of Fabio we would have had an easy win, but we lost it in the pitstop. In the last 2 laps at the restart I was really close to Esteban and I had better tyres, so I really thought I could overtake him: when we came out of the first sector I was really close to him, and coming into the second sector there was some new kind of safety car panels on, and I thought 'oh, they've had another crash and the race is finished', so I lifted a little because there was no point to push like crazy, and 2 corners later there were green flags! So Esteban got a few seconds ahead, and that was it: the last lap it was impossible to regain that.
GP2 Series: I guess you see it as a race lost, but equally if there hadn't been a safety car at that moment Fabio would have still been in front of you: do you think you could have done anything about his pace?
Johnny: I think that it would have been difficult, for sure: we had a set up to be quicker in the last laps when it was drying up, so for sure we could have set out after him and seen at the end how we had gone. But I think that we had a potential to catch up to Fabio in the last laps: maybe not close the gap completely or win the race, but for sure to get back to Fabio. For sure he did a really good job, and he had really bad luck with what happened on track.
GP2 Series: Nevertheless P2 is a strong result, more good points and getting your season back under control after the bad luck earlier this year, I guess?
Johnny: Yeah, P2 is a good result, but when you have P1 so close it's really a shame. I'm happy with P2, and happy overall because we are again very competitive, and after all the bad luck we had at the beginning of the season a podium is a good result.
GP2 Series: Great job today. Jolyon, P3 and a solid podium at your home race: how was the result for you today?
Jolyon: Yeah, it's very important because after Valencia, it was a bit disappointing to not pick up any results, so starting P3 and finishing P3: I'll take that! It was a tricky race because of the difficult conditions, and in the end as it started to dry out we were struggling a bit more because we were set up a bit more towards the wet conditions, so in the end I was happy to see the chequered flag and take a home podium.
GP2 Series: I guess the big moment of your race was your big save: talk us through what happened there!
Jolyon: Yeah, the pace was quite good early on and I was just catching Johnny a little bit, and I was in the spray: I hit the brakes and locked the rear into Stowe, and honestly I thought I was off for a beer! [laughs] It was huge! I just managed to gather it up on the outside and just flat out back onto the track, and I was a bit surprised that I didn't manage to lose a place! There was probably a couple of seconds lost, so I was pretty relieved...
GP2 Series: We talked yesterday about whether it would be better if it was wet or if it was dry, but we had a bit of both today: how were the conditions for you, and do you think you optimised what you could get from them?
Jolyon: I think so, yeah: it started off quite wet, and with the safety car as well, and I think it was the right decision to start under the safety car because just on the recce laps it was a bit of aquaplaning. I think it was good to clear a bit of water before the start, and then it was just managing the track, which was drying all the time, and I was just struggling because the drier it got, the worse the comparative pace I had. For me it was just keeping tidy and make sure I didn't lose a place, and just dealing with how the conditions were changing.
GP2 Series: And tomorrow?
Jolyon: I guess a podium is the obvious target from P6, I've no idea about the weather although I think it's forecast to be wet again, so we'll have to see who has what wets left, because we've used a lot of wet tyres this weekend [laughs]. Hopefully anything can happen, and we can end up on the podium again.
GP2 Series: Congratulations.