GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here in Monza: joining us are poleman Max Chilton from Carlin, in second we have Giedo van der Garde from Caterham, and in third place we have Johnny Cecotto from Addax. Max, congratulations: fastest this morning, fastest this afternoon, there's clearly something you like about this circuit!
Max Chilton: Yeah, I feel myself come together when I come into Monza! I've always like it here: I was quick in F3, and it was great this morning because I was quickest by a long way. This afternoon was a lot harder session, and I really had to push for it, but I managed to just scrape and get the pole, which was nice! A nice clean start tomorrow, and we can hope to close in on the people in front of us in the championship.
GP2 Series: You seemed to set the pace more in the first session, and as you say you really had to chase it more in qualifying: what's the reason for the difference?
Max: The track temperature raised between this morning and this afternoon, and I just found that harder: I was a bit scrappy in the first session but I knew I wasn't far off, and I knew I'd messed up in a few areas and all I needed to do was get a clean lap. And it was a pretty clean lap that got the pole, and then I was up on the last lap when I spun it off, which was a bit frustrating, but we still got the pole.
GP2 Series: It seems to be that qualifying is something that has really come together for you recently: is this something you've been working on?
Max: I've always been quick in qualifying, I think: in F3 I was quick, and in GP2 I've just taken a little time to get to grips with it. But I think this year we have a really good car, and this is Carlin's third pole in a row, so we've obviously got the car to do it.
GP2 Series: And tomorrow?
Max: Tomorrow is obviously a long drag down to turn one, so get through turn one and it doesn't really matter if it's not first, just get through it clean and I think the race is open to anyone.
GP2 Series: Giedo, congratulations on P2 today: you were leading until the end when Max just snuck under the wire, but nevertheless was it a satisfying session?
Giedo van der Garde: Yeah, I think so. I think Max did a really good job today: he was really fast this morning, and again they had a really good qualifying car, and also in the race they look really fast, and the team is doing a good job. My run was quite clear, although on the second outing I couldn't do much because I had yellow flags or I had traffic, so I couldn't improve anymore. It's a pity, but I'm quite happy to be on the front row: normally I have good starts, so let's try to win!
GP2 Series: How were the tyres today?
Giedo: Good: no really big issues. Of course we were a bit faster than last year with the softs, and they were handling quite well.
GP2 Series: The season has been an up and down one for you, and not as consistent as you've been in the past: is this something you can do anything about in the remainder of the season?
Giedo: Don't forget where we came from with this team is some steps down: I think we've improved a lot over the season. Sometimes we've had up and down, but don't forget that the last few races we've been quite consistent. In Spa we were really, really fast in the first and second race, and I think the tyre management is working quite well for us, but it just came late in the season that the car is handling well. Now we just have to focus on the last two weekends.
GP2 Series: And tomorrow, can you jump him at the start?
Giedo: I think so, yes! [laughs]
GP2 Series: Johnny, congratulations on P3 today: are you satisfied that you got the most out of the car?
Johnny Cecotto: Yeah, I'm very satisfied because I don't think we were so competitive in qualifying today, or the car was not at it's best, especially in free practice: we made a few changes and the car was much better in qualifying, but I must say we were very lucky because I had a very good slipstream which helped me to get the third position. I'm satisfied with the result for these reasons.
GP2 Series: I was going to say that you didn't seem to have the pace this morning, but it was there this afternoon: it's a sport of fine margins, but what made the difference?
Johnny: We had a few problems with the set up, and were also a little unlucky because on the second run we always had yellow flags, but the luck we didn't have in free practice we did have in qualifying, so I'm really happy about that!
GP2 Series: You lose a few places on the grid tomorrow, but what can you do in the race?
Johnny: I lose a few places for the grid penalty, but I also have an extra set of tyres because I only ran one set in qualifying, so I think that gives us an advantage over everyone else. I'll just try to have a good start, and see what we can do in the race.