Monza GP2 Feature Race Winners' Conference

GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for a very exciting feature race here in Monza: joining us are race winner Antonio Giovinazzi from PREMA Racing, in second place we have Raffaele Marciello from RUSSIAN TIME, and in third place we have Gustav Malja from Rapax. Antonio, congratulations on another strong win in a pretty complicated race: how was it from your seat?

Antonio Giovinazzi: Yes, after yesterday I was pretty disappointed because we took the front row and then had the issue after qualifying, but today I went to the track 100% charged. After the start I knew I could fight with the drivers on the same strategy, and we did that, and then we had the safety car. We passed the safety car before the line one, and we pitted together and came back behind the group: it was just luck for us, but we took the luck and I am really happy with the result! We managed the tyres after the restart, and I was putting together the last few laps: on the second last lap I took Gustav and on the last one I took Raffaele, and it's really emotional for me to be on top of the podium in front of all the people here in Italy, and also it's good for the team, a really special sensation.

GP2 Series: And before the safety car you had a lot of work to do: you just missed Gelael at the start, but then had a great drive through the field to catch these guys. How was it for you? Antonio: It was really close with Sean! (laughs) He stalled at the start and the guy in front of me had so much smoke so I couldn't see anything, and when it cleared Sean was in front of me! I just moved the car really fast and just missed him, and then as you say I overtook many cars, also the guys on options who were struggling so much, and then at the end I came to Raffaele, Gustav and I think Matsushita, and after the safety car we had a really good race, really good!

GP2 Series: An Italian driver in an Italian team overtaking an Italian driver on the last lap at the feature race for the Italian Grand Prix for the win: it can't be more emotional than that, can it? Antonio: Yes, I think for Italy it was really good because Gustav is also with an Italian team, so strong, and I'm really happy with the 1-2 with Raffaele, so it was really good!

GP2 Series: Raffaele, I guess before the race you would have been pretty happy with P2, although you'll obviously be disappointed to lose on the last lap, but can you take some positives from this? Raffaele Marciello: Yeah, I believed quite a bit in the victory until then, but it's still pretty good for the championship. This year we've never been the fastest but I'm always taking points, being consistent, so P2 is good points and tomorrow from P7 we can move forward and take more points, and then see at the end.

GP2 Series: You were the highest placed driver to start on the harder contract: what prompted that decision? Raffaele: I wanted to be different to the others! I knew my pace was not the best so I said to do something different, and it was not really risky because we started with a time difference that was quite similar and at the end I wanted to be in clear air, so we made the decision.

GP2 Series: The pace wasn't bad at all: was that a surprise for you? Raffaele: No, because our pace is okay compared to the others but not compared to Prema, so when I saw we're not the fastest I mean compared to Prema, because we have to find something to close to them.

GP2 Series: Congratulations. Gustav, just before you left yesterday you said to me "anything can happen in the race" because you didn't have a great qualifying, and this kind of proves you were right... Gustav Malja: Yes, I'll always say that for a race because clearly it's always like that, especially in GP2! (laughs) You never know what's going to happen! The target wasn't a podium today, it was the top 8, and we had the pace for that and I could overtake some guys in the beginning, so I could catch Matsushita until he pitted and then after that I could follow Marciello. After that of course, as they said, we were a bit lucky, but still you have to be there and to do a gamble when you start a bit behind like we did, and I think still we were quite good in terms of race pace. In the last couple of laps I wanted to win but I did a small mistake which let Antonio overtake me in the second last lap, which was a bit disappointing, but I was thrilled with the podium again.

GP2 Series: You're still a rookie of course, which makes it a little harder to deal with the pressure: how were those last few laps? Gustav: Well, after Spa, which was a huge step forward again, I was feeling much more confident to be in a leading position: I don't have so much experience at this level, so it was great to be in that position. After Spa I felt a lot more confident to lead, because it is experience.

GP2 Series: And confidence is what you need in this game: are you looking forward to the closing races of the season more now? Gustav: For sure: anything can happen again tomorrow, so let's see.