Auto GP Curitiba, Race 1 drivers quotes

Home hero Antonio Pizzonia won an amazing Race 1 in Curitiba: the former F1 driver led the race from flag to flag and crossed the line ahead of Pl Varhaug and Sergey Sirotkin. Here is what they said after the race.Antonio PizzoniaOne year and a half after your last single seater race you won on your Auto GP debut: how does it feel?Its incredible: one year and a half had passed since my last single seater race and I had driven single seaters just twice in the last three years, so I didnt imagine to be so quick straight out of the box. I expected to need more time because Im not used anymore to a car so light, with such powerful brakes and so much power and downforce. Frankly, I expected to be one second off the pace at the beginning and then close the gap session after session, but it went much better than that, I immediately felt at home in the car. I have to say thanks to the guys of Ombra Racing who did a great job throughout the weekend, the car was really good.The start was one of the deciding moment of your race, how did you managed to be so quick off the line?The start, together with the pit-stop, was the moment that worried me the most before the race because I had no chance to practice. I asked the regulars for some advice but when I tried a start at the end of qualifying and it was awful, so I was really worried. Today it was different, the grip on the track was much better than on Friday and everything came together naturally. Then I just pushed as much as I could in order to build a gap because I wanted to be safe in case of pit-stop issues, but luckily everything went well at the tyre change.Pl VarhaugToday your rival could clinch the title but things went in the opposite direction, are you still thinking about the championship?Frankly after Portimao we were so far behind that I didnt even bother checking the points anymore, but now I know that the maths still give us a tiny chance. Its good to know that the fight is still open, but Im still very far behind so Im not really thinking about the championship. Obviously I will do my best race after race, hoping to keep the battle going as long as possible.Tell us about your race, did you think that catching Pizzonia was a possibility?The start was very good, but the first part of the race wasnt easy: my strategic choice was  an early pit-stop, on lap 4, but obviously being second already at first corner we had to change it. I was on new softs at the rear and used mediums at the front so in the early part of the race I was really struggling a lot with understeer, and thats why Quaife-Hobbs managed to put pressure on me. Then lap after lap the balance got better thanks to tyre wear and I was able to pull away a bit, and the Virtuosi guys really made a good job at the pit stop sending me out on Pizzonias tail. I thought that trying a move was possible but Antonio was really quick and on the penultimate lap I did a mistake at the new chicane that costed me a lot of time, closing any possibility.Sergey SirotkinYou were the last driver to stop: how the late tyre change strategy did develop?Well we aimed at being able to drive in clean air in the second part of the race and thats what happened, but in the end it didnt make a big difference because I was lapping more or less on the same pace as the two in front.You seemed more competitive than on Friday, did the team make any changes on the car?Well we completely lost a practice session due to that gearbox issue on Friday, and that hampered us a bit in terms of finding the right setup. So we were a bit behind, but luckily we managed to catch up in time for the race. The car was feeling much better and Im sure that in Race 2 it will again be a bit better, because after this race well have more data to work on.

Related Motorsport Articles

84,751 articles