Vandoorne, Palmer and Nasr talk about their race
GP2 Series: Stoffel, congratulations. That’s another win for you in GP2. How was the race?Stoffel Vandoorne: I had an okay start. I could go past Berthon. I think Nasr was on my left but I could not see him. After Turn 1 he was behind me. I had a good opening lap. After that I pushed for the first two laps so that I could build a little gap, but then I was trying to save the tyres, really, because it is a really long race. The tyre management is quite difficult here, but I think that I managed a good job. I never really came under threat. When Palmer passed Nasr, I tried to push a little bit to build a bigger gap. Palmer started to push quite hard as well. I didn’t want to be under threat. I wanted to be safe, so I kept pushing. In the final stages, the team told me to push for fastest lap and I tried a couple of times. I managed it on the final lap. It’s a good way to finish the race and to finish the final race before the summer break on a victory and with the third place in the standings.GP2 Series: You said you could push for fastest lap in the final stages. Does this mean that tyre degradation was not as high as expected?Stoffel: Yeah probably. I mean yesterday I was stuck behind Dillmann and I felt I could go a lot quicker. When I passed him I was two seconds quicker. Today, I knew what I had to do. The pace was consistent throughout the race. I was expecting a bit more degradation and if I had pushed a bit more, maybe it would have been the case, but in the end, it was enough. The key thing is that I got the victory and fastest lap. It’s good points for the title fight.GP2 Series: And it’s finally a win after it slipped through your fingers in Hockenheim…Stoffel: Indeed… We’re been very close lately, from Red bull Ring onwards, we’ve been on the podium every weekend. Hockenheim was a good weekend for us as well. I’ve been leading in the first race and then again in the second race. We didn’t take the win, but today was a lights to flag victory and that’s how I like it. Let’s keep it like this for the future.GP2 Series: Next round will take place in Spa. That will be your home event. What are your expectations?Stoffel: Yeah, it’s my home race. I’m really looking forward to it. I won there last year in FR3.5. It’s a track that really suits me. I really like it. It’s always a great atmosphere around the track. There’s a lot of fans who support me so I’m really looking forward to come back after the summer break.--GP2 Series: Jolyon, P2 today. Another great race from you. How was it from the car?Jolyon Palmer: It was really good. My start was not great, I think I lost one position to Pic but then in the next 3 or 4 laps, I passed four cars and got up to second. The car was really good straight away. I managed some good moves up to second. Then, I could look after the tyres and try to close in on Stoffel for the win in the end. With ten laps to go, I tried pushing a bit more to close the gap, but it was pretty clear that he had tyres left as well. I was struggling a bit in the end because I had a used front left tyre from when Cecotto hit me in practice. We could have fought for the win, but I’m happy with second.GP2 Series: Can you take us through that bold move on Felipe Nasr?Jolyon: It does not surprise me at all that it’s been clear by the Stewards because it’s completely normal racing. I went on the inside and in the braking zone, he moved across a lot. I’ve not touched anyone in racing all year. No one moves in the braking zone because it’s pretty well known it’s dangerous to do that. He did. We didn’t touch. It meant I was a bit wide and there was no room for him. I’m on the inside. I stuck to my line. It’s a normal racing move.GP2 Series: That was a move for P2 and more points ahead of Spa next month. What are your expectations?Jolyon: (He laughs) You know what happened in Spa last year, so hopefully not that! We’ve been strong all the time. I think in qualifying this week we’ve been a bit unlucky. We should have been on the front row. That’s the main thing: we’ve got the pace. We were strong in the race here as well. I like Spa. We have three weeks to chill out and thing about it.GP2 Series: …and think about the title?Jolyon: Yeah I can’t keep saying I’m not thinking about it anymore. I do think about it now. I just have to do my best and see what happens. I will try to qualify in the front, try to win races and we’ll see from there.--GP2 Series: Felipe, P3 today. You had a great start from P3 and almost got into the lead. How was it from the car?Felipe Nasr: Yeah, I think the start was good. I came up to second and tried to fight Vandoorne into turn 1. I think he did a good job to keep the lead. After that, this second race is all based on the start because then you can make places at the start and then it’s all about looking after the tyres. It was pretty much what we did and we could see a few places I was missing a bit of time compared to them, but I think our weekend has been pretty good overall. We showed in qualifying that we had the pace. I always wanted the pole position in GP2 and I did this weekend. We can take that to the other races.GP2 Series: Yesterday, unfortunately, you could not transform that pole into a win…Felipe: We were very unlucky. It was about the safety car that put our race in a bit of a disadvantage. And today it was all about the start and managing the tyres as well. Still, we had a small fight with Palmer and I just expected better driver standards from him because he did the same yesterday by pushing another car off the track. This is the kind of driving that is not very fair when you’re fighting for the title. If I leave the door opened, I expect the same from him. But this is not happening from him. Anyway, I was a bit disappointed, but overall the weekend has been very positive. Without the safety car yesterday, it would have been a different story. Now we have to think about the rest of the season. There are four rounds left and we need to keep pushing until the end.GP2 Series: What can we expect from you in Spa?Felipe: It will be good to come back fresh. I will spend a little bit of time at home. Like I said: nothing’s over yet. One weekend can turn things around pretty quickly and I’m really looking forward to that because now we have the car for qualifying and if we keep doing what we’re doing, we have a very good chance.