GP3 Series: Congratulations, your first win in the Series and at Monaco of all places, does life get any better than this?
Aaro Vainio: “No, it’s just amazing! It’s actually the first ever win for me in my single seater career and in Monaco as well it’s just a great feeling. The car was amazing all race we had made a great start. I managed the gap well in the first five laps and I really enjoyed the last 5 laps as me and Kevin Ceccon were having a battle to see who could take the fastest lap by improving our lap times each time around but he just grabbed it in the end. To achieve the pole and the win here is just really good.
GP3 Series: Did you feel pressure from Pal Kiss in second as he tried to come back at you midway through the race setting fastest laps also?
Aaro: No, I was controlling the race the whole time. My strategy was to be really aggressive in the first five laps to build a lead which I did. One time Tamas got a little closer to me after a crash and there were yellow flags so I had to ease off but I was unable to increase the margin again.
GP3 Series: Tomorrow you will start Race 2 from P8 on the grid, what can you achieve from there? You also now have an 18 point lead in the Drivers Standings…
Aaro: I think tomorrow the goal is to grab good points and to make a good start with no crashes. I was saying I wanted to leave Monaco heading the points and so far I have achieved that. It feels super great, but I have to remember the season is long. Today I can celebrate but another race tomorrow.
GP3 Series: Congratulations on second place, a great start you made, tell us about your race?
Tamas Pal Kiss: “It’s just amazing, for me, my team and for everyone supporting me. We’ve had a difficult Winter but we had big hopes for the season opener and it turned out to be a bad weekend after a big crash in the second race in Barcelona. So we really wanted to improve on this during Monaco weekend. We felt good in Free Practice but I didn’t really get a chance to make a good lap but I felt confident on the track. I have been in the McLaren simulator a couple of times which has helped me a lot around here. For qualifying I was very close to be being P1 in my group but was happy starting third overall. For the race I planned to make a good start and I did, so I’m glad I managed it. It was an enjoyable race, it was not boring at all. Sometimes when there is a fairly large cap to the car in front and to the car behind it can get boring but driving every lap around here is so much fun” (Said with a massive smile on his face)! “
GP3 Series: Tomorrow you start from P7 on the grid, how much harder will it be from there?
Tamas: “It will be a lot more difficult and for sure I will need to make a good start. Today I wanted to make up a place or two and I will just see if I can repeat that tomorrow. It’s very difficult to overtake here even if you are a lot quicker than the others. It’s so promising for the team that we were running at the front today and racing with Aaro.”
GP3 Series: Does today’s result help give motivation for the team and give something to build on for Valencia onwards?
Tamas: “For sure, the team were just joking with me about it last night and said they want me to have a podium as they were joking and said my mechanic has to have a trophy each year, so they expect at least a podium. So I said, ‘Ok I try for you’ so the result today is good for team spirit for everyone.”
GP3 Series: Your first podium in GP3, good day at the office?
Kevin Ceccon: Yes for sure I am happy today and also after a very good qualifying practice. My start was quite good but my problem was I was on the outside and then Pal Kiss was able to take the position. We were not so fast at the beginning of the race but at the end we were super fast. I set the fastest lap time and this lap was faster than what I set when I was P1 in my Qualifying group this morning. So after 18 laps of the race we looked very good so we will see what we can do tomorrow. I am happy about my first podium in GP3 and I hope it gives us good motivation to go even faster.
GP3 Series: Why do you think you were slower at the start of the race? Was that due to tyres or any car issues?
Kevin: “I think we had a problem with the set-up because we still don’t have as much experience but the most important thing is at the end we were very fast.”
GP3 Series: You start from P6 on the grid tomorrow, what are your expectations; can you make it two podium finishes?
Kevin: “Why not? I think two podiums in Monte Carlo can be great! That is our goal! I can only hope for a crash in front of me tomorrow and hope I can pick up a few places that way if I avoid trouble”, he laughs. “There is rarely any tyre degradation in GP3 with these Pirelli tyres and no real difference under braking between the cars so it’s very difficult to overtake, especially here in Monaco but I will try to make a good start.”