NEWS

21/09/2012

Singapore Top three quotes - Qualifying

Singapore Top three quotes - Qualifying

Filippi, Chilton and Gutiérrez discuss the session


GP2 Series: Luca, pole position in your first time in Singapore: I guess you can't ask for a better way to start the weekend...
Luca Filippi: Yeah, yeah, it's right, but it was my goal! I came here and we all knew the potential was good, because we all know we work together well, me and Coloni, and in our history we've had great results together, but we've missed the pole position: we had a lot of first rows, and I think we had 6 weekends together where we were always second and once third, so finally a pole position! The average is still second [laughs], but it's great: it's the last race for Coloni, so it's good to have this pole position for us.

GP2 Series: It's such an unusual place, nobody's raced here before, you haven't been under the lights before: how did you approach this session?
Luca: Actually we did a good preparation with the track walk, videos and this and that, but at the end whatever you do before is quite important, but when you get here the first two or three laps are crucial. If you understand quickly what's happening, what's going on around you, it's a plus: this is the biggest value of GP2. What GP2 teaches you in to push hard, have good pace, learn quickly because you don't have time. Many times I've gone to other circuits that I didn't know and I had to push hard straight away: maybe the other guys already knew the circuit, but this time it was the same for everybody, more or less, and what GP2 has given me is the experience to do this. Wherever I will go in the future, I'm sure that I will be able to be fast from the very beginning.

GP2 Series: A tight street circuit, you're on pole tomorrow: you've got to go for the win, surely?
Luca: This is the goal, obviously! I think we have a good chance to fight for the first position: it's hard to say because you don't know about the tyre management, although I think we are good at that, myself and the team. So the goal is to try and end the season on a high, and it would be great for myself that this year I had only one proper race weekend, so when you have not so many chances, you've got to take them all.

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GP2 Series: Max, very close today but just not quite there in the end, but how was the session for you?
Max Chilton: It was pretty perfect really, after being 22nd this morning! I was praying for it to be dry: we were okay in the wet, but I wasn't quite comfortable, and I didn't get the best out of the tyres, so when they said it would be 30 minutes, no rain, I thought alright, let's get it on! [laughs] I knew we had a good car, and the first set of tyres went well and we were P5, not a long way off Jolyon, but while we were in the pits people started changing for the other compound, because Jolyon was obviously on it.

I was a bit hesitant about which one to go for, but the team said there's no evidence that the other  tyres will be quicker, so let's stick with what we know: we did it, and from the first lap I think we went purple in the first sector and it felt brilliant, a really good lap, really happy with it. Coming around for the next lap I was fractionally up on the first sector, slightly down on the second sector but slight up overall on the lap, and I was halfway around the third sector and they said red, I came around the corner and that was that. It's just one of those things: I think I could have clinched it in the end, but I may have stopped Filippi from getting pole in Monza by spinning, so it's one of those things. Swings and roundabouts.

GP2 Series: I was going to say, there were a few people including yourself who looked like they were going to improve, but you think the time was there if the session had gone to full time?
Max: I wasn't happy with my last two corners on my fast lap, and I came to the last sector equal with the lap before, so I'm pretty confident I could have just scraped it, but you know, second is pretty perfect because everyone who I need is behind me, Filippi is not in the championship, so it's fine.


GP2 Series: What can you do tomorrow?
Max: Well, I can win: let's try that! [laughs]

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GP2 Series: Esteban, P3 today with a pretty good time: are you happy with the session?
Esteban Gutiérrez: Yes, it was a very tricky one because we didn't know the track, and in practice it was wet so of course the references are very different, from wet to the dry, so it was a challenge to adapt quickly to the track. It was the same for everybody, but I think it was a little bit of a gamble on the car set up, and this made a big influence on how confidence is growing. With this result it was very positive in the end, and we definitely can improve the car: I was struggling a little bit with the braking, and we decided to use the soft tyres on the second stint, and I think this was a bit of a disadvantage. But we are really happy, considering all these things.

GP2 Series: You and James have been fast all day, and setting the pace through free practice and qualifying: how did you guys approach this race weekend, having not been here before?
Esteban: The most important thing is that I love the track: from practice I really enjoyed driving here, and I've always had a curiosity about driving this track from last year, because I was here as a reserve driver [for Sauber], not driving and only watching, and this created a lot of attraction to this track [laughs]. Finally we are here, the last event of GP2, and I'm really looking forward to enjoying it even more in the races: this is my main boost for my circumstances, and I'm going to try to make the best of what we have.

GP2 Series: You mentioned the tyres, and you changed them but Max didn't, and he thinks it was probably better that way: do you agree, and how did you find them generally?
Esteban: It's very difficult to say one thing or the other, because it's such a short session: you cannot really compare, or try something new, and I think this session was all about knowing the track, and getting adapted to the track. It is giving a lot of time and confidence to put a lap together, and for me I think this made the biggest difference: in the end if we speak about what was the best or not, it's very difficult to judge.

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