GP2 Race 1 Press Conference

GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for race one here at the Hockenheimring.

Unfortunately race winner Romain Grosjean is unable to join us at the moment as he is with the race stewards, but joining us from second place we have Giorgio Pantano from Racing Engineering and third placed driver Alvaro Parente from SuperNova International. Giorgio, congratulations today on second today, although I guess it's not really the result you were expecting after the first 35 laps...

Giorgio Pantano: Unfortunately no: I thought for sure we would win this race, and for most of the race we were doing the job and winning the race, but the weather was unlucky in the last few laps and Grosjean got past me. It was very difficult and I was being very careful, and Romain was able to be faster than me so I had to just not be stupid and let him go.

GP2 Series: How hard were the conditions over those last few laps, and were you just thinking of the championship?

Giorgio: To be honest I was not thinking about the championship, I was thinking about being there at the end! It was so dangerous on those last few laps: the first sector was really wet and it is so easy to make a mistake in those conditions. Anyway we just stayed out with the situations and tried to make the best laps that we could without making a mistake, because they were telling me over the radio that the others were very far from me, and why would I make a big risk for just two points more?

GP2 Series: Did you ever consider coming in for wet tyres?

Giorgio: No. No, because by the time you come out, the wet tyres are cold, the time to get back up with everybody, you would just lose too much time.

GP2 Series: Nevertheless over the weekend you've still made more points that Romain, which must gives you something to be happy about...

Giorgio: Yes it's good: I was having a good race and got the fastest lap before the rain, and then I thought why risk everything for just two points, that was not really for me to risk everything because second was good enough, and the others were a long way behind so yeah, it's good and we have a nice lead in the championship.

GP2 Series: Do you now start to think about the championship and play conservative, just think about getting the points rather than pushing for the wins?

Giorgio: No, because if I can ever win then I drive to win: we are doing a very good job with the team, we have a very good car, and why think about the championship? I want to keep winning - I wanted to win today - and I will keep pushing to get some more wins.

GP2 Series: Congratulations. Alvaro, congratulations to you on a great job today, particularly that last lap which we will come back to, but I guess after the start you had today you are probably weren't expecting to be here now?

Alvaro Parente: Yeah, we had some definite problems on that first lap: the car in front of me stalled which wasn't a big problem, but then I lost my line into turn one because I had someone in side so I couldn't hold my position, and then I got out on the astroturf so I lost a few more places there. In the beginning it was not good for sure, and then we had a pitstop and I managed to overtake two guys in front of me, I think Filippi and Petrov, when they came out of the pits and I was in eighth place. I was trying catch up but I was starting to struggle in some sectors, and then the last five laps came! We took a risk to stay out, taking some risks and trying to stay on the track, and then we could pass some people and have some interesting fights until the end.

GP2 Series: That last lap was pretty amazing because it was wet / dry all the way around the circuit, and you were having a great fight with Bruno on wets: talk me through it from your perspective.

Alvaro: I think it was not only the last lap that was wet and dry: it was changing for a few laps, so that was even harder. There was one driver who got caught out with that because on the previous lap it was dry it that area and then on the next lap it was nearly fully wet and he spun off. But that last lap with Bruno was hard because obviously in one area he was faster and then in other areas I was faster because I had slicks, but I managed to pass him in the dry area and stay in front of him in the wet area, so it was a pretty interesting challenge for me.

GP2 Series: How hard was it to stay on the circuit in those conditions on slicks, when you consider that Bruno was on wets and still spinning off?

Alvaro: It was hard, but you had to slow down a bit and look for the grip, on the left side, on the right side, not on the line: it worked out well for me because I was not risking 100% like I saw some people I saw in my mirrors were! It worked out really well for me.

GP2 Series: You've had a bit of bad luck in the last few races after a good start to the season: how important is this podium for you and the team?

Alvaro: It's really important: I just had a bad weekend in Silverstone but everywhere else I think we were close, in Magny Cours I could have had a podium except for the relay problem, and easy podium, so that was a shame obviously. But coming back from two bad weekends is good obviously, and we just have to keep working and getting more points and be in the position we should be in the championship.

GP2 Series: And of course you have another chance for a good result tomorrow: what are your expectations there?

Alvaro: Yeah for sure, and every race is important in GP2, and every point is crucial for the championship in a season like this.