NEWS

02/09/2012

Spa-Francorchamps Post Sprint Race Quotes

Spa-Francorchamps Post Sprint Race Quotes

Kral, Nasr and Calado discuss their race

GP2 Series: Josef, congratulations on your first win in GP2, and at such a famous circuit: best racing weekend ever?

Josef Kral: Probably not ever - I would expect the best weekend ever to be first first first [laughs] - but was my best racing weekend ever in GP2! Even though it didn't start well in qualifying, I was 15th, but when it came to the dry the car was just fantastic! From the beginning of yesterday's race to the end of today's race there was nothing that I would change on the car, because it was so good. It's a shame that it's come so late, because we've struggled for such a long time: I think that we should be in these places since the beginning of the season, but unfortunately I have nearly unbelievable bad luck in all the races! Hopefully now it's over, and it starts to be good. I have to thank the team, because the car has been so good, and the pitstop yesterday as well, and the preparation: we've moved to where we should be, and now we have to maintain it.

GP2 Series: It almost looked easy today - great start, pull away, look after the tyres - but how was it for you in the car?

Josef: Well, most of the time when the races look easy, they are the most difficult! [laughs] I had a really good start - the start was brilliant compared to the others - and it was a bit tight in the first corner, but then I could get away quite easily. Then I was just concentrating on maintaining the speed and looking in the mirror at James to see how far away he is, and to maintain the gap and protect the tyres as much as I could. And in the end it worked, and as I saw the others dropping back, especially in the end of the race when Felipe came closer to James and then overtook him, I could just back off and really finish the race, because I was really struggling with degredation at the end of the race: the last lap was just like on ice!

But it was very good because I could predict what would happen in the car because the set up was really good, and I knew the last laps would be tough but not anything else. And there were no surprises, which was good! [laughs]

GP2 Series: You've had so much bad luck this year: how much does this win mean to you and the team?

Josef: It means a lot, because we've been waiting for such a long time. This gives us more confidence, and it's a little but unfortunate that it has come this late because we should have done this earlier, but anyway it's good that it came and now we have to work with this, see what we did different, and just maintain the same. This is what I've said, because it's a big boost for the whole team, especially for my side of the team because Johnny had some good results, but we just needed some good luck to put it all together, which this weekend worked. And hopefully, next weekend can be similar! [laughs]

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GP2 Series: Felipe, not the best start to a race, but a pretty good finish to one: how was it for your out there today?

Felipe Nasr: It really was the critical point, the start: we had a new clutch in the car today, and maybe that's why we couldn't find the right feeling to make a good start. But anyway it's done, I dropped a few places in the first few moments and then Razia had his moment with Calado, he went out and I went back to third, and I realised they were in a better pace and I couldn't keep up with them until the last 8 laps. When I realised that I just focussed on saving my tyres, which paid off I think: the last five laps were amazing, and it's a good reward to finish second. Of course I would like to win the race, but it was not today: I'm happy with the move I've done, it was a good fight with Calado and we had a fair battle. He was on the edge sometimes, maybe [laughs], but that's racing, and it was good that I could come back on the podium after a difficult qualifying and weekend, when yesterday the race was such a mess and I had problems with the clutch, which is why I had to change for a new one, so in the end I am happy with second today.

GP2 Series: The last couple of laps were amazing to watch, and then on the last lap you went into the bus stop behind: did you still think you could do it?

Felipe: Yeah! I was definitely thinking it was my last shot, but yesterday I did the same move on Richelmi in the last lap: I just remembered that and said 'okay, it's your last shot' and I just made sure the car was in the right place, and it came. It was really exciting for those last laps, and I'm really happy!

GP2 Series: You said that you were looking after your tyres, and I imagine this is something you've learnt over the season: is that what made the difference today?

Felipe: Definitely. Of course the set up of the car was towards having less degradation of the tyres, and I think we lack a bit of pace in the beginning of the race, which is why the leaders could pull away, but in the end it's different cars, and different teams have different set ups. But that's something I've learned over the season, to really look after the tyres because it's a long race. If I had passed Calado earlier on, or if I didn't lose so much time in the beginning, I could have caught Kral and maybe fought for the win.

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James Calado was unavailable for quotes

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