GP3 Series: Congratulations, your first win in the Series, how do you feel?
Patric Niederhauser: I am very happy. I didn’t have the best start, I had too much wheel spin and I saw Daniel passing me. I knew it was all about the brakes into the first corner because it’s so important keep the advantage heading into the first corner. I was very late on my braking but luckily it was ok. I pushed like crazy in the first few laps to try and make a gap to Daniel so that he couldn’t attack to me. I just had to stay calm and try and save the tyres, I was always pushing, I never wanted to give him a chance to get near me. After a very bad qualifying I am so happy today.
GP3 Series: How hard were the concentration levels at a track like Valencia with the walls so close, leading your first race under pressure?
Patric: The problem here in Valencia is you don’t have any fast corners. All fast corners are very easy in this car. So the braking is very important. You always have to brake on the limit otherwise you are slow, especially at the last corner. I knew I had the gap at 1.5 seconds, so if I did a mistake he would have been too close and could potentially win. I knew I mustn’t make a mistake so I am very happy.
GP3 Series: You made a positive start to your GP3 campaign in Barcelona with 4th and 5th, Monaco didn’t go as well for you, what is it about Valencia or changes with your car that have seen the improvements?
Patric: In Barcelona we had tested there so I knew the circuit as well as the other guys. Monaco was very special of course, a very difficult track. We just weren’t fast enough. Valencia has also been difficult for me as there are so many good drivers, a lot who have driven here before where as it’s new to me. I struggled a bit at the beginning to adapt to the circuit, but the more I learned and found out the how the circuit worked, we found the pace here.
GP3 Series: You have now moved up to joint fourth in the standings, one of the highest placed rookies in the Series, what are your expectations from Silverstone onwards?
Patric: My personal target is to stay in the top five which would be very good for me. Now the upcoming tracks are ones I know more or less, I expect or should I say hope to do more podiums and more wins this year. Ideally I would like to win Race 1 to pick up more points. Our problem at the moment is to improve our qualifying, the Pirelli tyres only allow you one or two laps and I need to sort this out as I have made a few little mistakes, so if I can improve this, my race pace is good so I need to take it from there.
GP3 Series: Congratulations on P2 today, your best result in the Series!
Daniel Abt: I think today was definitely a good race. The start of the weekend was really bad for me, I struggled for speed, I am not sure why. We tried various different set-ups and we got it fixed for today. My start was good like always and I was quite close to getting P1 at the beginning but it’s still good to score points like this. I am now third in the championship which is better than I would expect from looking at my earlier results. So yes I am happy.
GP3 Series: It was very tight at the start with you and Patric, how close do you think you were of capturing and keeping P1 at the start?
Daniel: On the first lap I tried very hard to do that. Patric stayed on the inside and then there is no way through if he doesn’t make a mistake. I think I overheated my front tyres and I was not really able to stay close to him, so I was also quite surprised he was that quick. Patric did a good job. But in the end I did the maximum I could today.
GP3 Series: As you mentioned, third in the Drivers Standings, how you build forward on that?
Daniel: My goal before the season was to win it, so that’s still my aim. For sure I need to improve and to catch up to Evans and Vainio. I think third is good though. I just need to improve my qualifying which will then help me score more points in Race 1.
GP3 Series: You mention improving your qualifying, what have been your issues so far?
Daniel: I’m not sure to be in honest. In Barcelona it was just that little bit that I was off from pole that made me end up P7. In Monaco I had traffic, here I struggled with straight line speed. We just need to make sure we have got everything working right. You only have those one or two laps in qualifying to make it all come together and when it does, I know I can be running at the front consistently. Nex up at Silverstone ist not my favourite track but I am very excited about Hockenheim coming up and showing my fans what I can do and hopefully winning there!
GP3 Series: Congratulations Tio. P3 and your first podium, you must be pleased with that?
Tio Ellinas: Basically it was a great race from the beginning. It was time to get to a podium as I was so close to getting one yesterday in Race 1. Unfortunately we had some engine issues which meant we were losing too much straight line speed and Fumanelli got ahead of me at the end. Today my aim was to be on the podium. I made a good start and on lap two I got by Laine to get into P4. I then just tried to stay with Ceccon and at the midway point I was catching him very quickly. On the last lap on turn one he closed the door and I was right behind him and he braked a bit early. To avoid making contact with him I moved to the left and I braked next to him. We got alongside each other in turn 3 and 4 and then he closed the door and I had to lift. I was thinking I would attack him in the final corner as that was his weak point so I think I made a clean pass on him and managed my first podium!
GP3 Series: From the cameras it looked as though you and Ceccon made wheel to wheel contact in the final corner, how was it from your point of view, did you touch?
Tio: Ceccon just opened the door and I went to the inside of him and I was right next to him. The kerb bounced me off but we touched very lightly, only on the rear wheels, not all four. I made a good exit and grabbed P3 and the rostrum. I think it was a clear move.
GP3 Series: What do you think you can do for the remainder of the season?
Tio: I was racing in Silverstone last season in Formula Renault. Hopefully I can do my best there, for the team it’s their home race so we would really like a good result. It would be so nice to make a win at their home track or be on the podium again. My target is to finish in the top five in the standings and to keep scoring points every race. The top three would be so nice to reach in the Series, as everything is so new for me, new tracks etc for me being a rookie.