Ladies and Gentlemen: Welcome to the GP3 Press Conference for Budapest Qualifying. Firstly, we have Aaro Vainio from Lotus GP on pole, Antonio Felix Da Costa from Carlin in second position and Mitch Evans from MW Arden in third.
GP3 Series: Congratulations Aaro! Your second pole of the season, after your first in Monaco, happy man?
Aaro Vainio: "It was really good, I am really happy. I had been in the top places in qualifying but only once on pole in Monaco this year, so that has been something I wanted to put right by claiming another pole position. It's a great opportunity for me later today."
GP3 Series: What are your thoughts on this circuit?
Vainio: "I like this circuit a lot. I drove here for the first time in 2010 and again last season when I was pretty quick here. From the first lap yesterday in practice, everything seemed to work so I am really enjoying the track here. Everything is good with the car and team so it's really nice."
GP3 Series: The Hungaroring is notriously difficult to overtake, how do you see the race playing out?
Vainio: "Well in GP3 the start is the key point. After that I think there are not so many places here to overtake. Obviously the first corner, is where a lot of people will try something to overtake. It's going to be a great race though but very tight."
GP3 Series: P2 today, you ran Aaro fairly close today in qualifying?
Antonio Felix Da Costa: "It's ok, we have to be happy with that, it's not so bad. My first pole position was in Barcelona but since then we've not been quick enough. We know it and that's what we have been working towards. We are getting there slowly but whenever we have a normal qualifying we can always be in the top five or the top three. To be honest it's always hard to be the quickest guy out there. I am ok because the race pace looks good and I know I am quick. I always say to the team that if you qualify in the first two rows you have a great chance to win the race, so I am happy with that."
GP3 Series: What makes the difference in the small margins of laptime?
Antonio: "Especially at a track like this where it's hot and you have the soft compound. You just need a good rhythm, without having a rhythm if that makes sense, which is more due to the talent which I think is why we see a bit more distance now. To Vainio it's two tenths difference, normally qualifying is a bit more closer than what we see here. Here it comes down more to strategy and how you plan your lap. But I think we made a good job with what we have so we have to be pleased with that."
GP3 Series: The Front row is not a bad place to start though?
Antonio: "No it's not, I can get Aaro from there!"
GP3 Series: P3 today, happy with that?
Mitch Evans: "Yeh reasonably, it wasn't the best session for us, we were quite slow. We were struggling with the balance but I think we have made a step forward with the changes we made to the car. Last year we were really strong here but we were still a bit far away from ART (now Lotus GP). We are in the same position we were last year, third on the grid. But we still have a lot of work to do. Obviously Aaro is very quick, so is Antonio, so we need to keep improving and have a good race."
GP3 Series: How were the tyres?
Mitch: "They were ok. I was only able to do one fast lap on each set of tyres as I got traffic each time I tried to push for a faster lap, so I am not sure how the tyres would have been if I had managed to do the extra hot laps. They are very hot with the soft compound, the race is very long."
GP3 Series: On your last attempt you set the two purple sectors and I was wondering if the tyres had played any impact on not improving your laptime?
Mitch: "Yeh pretty much, the tyres had gone off so I know I couldn't go quicker so I just pitted. I need to make a good start."
GP3 Series: What is your plan from P3 on the grid?
Mitch: "My recent starts haven't been great. So I need to make sure I get a good launch and attack into the first corner. And then I will see what happens, play it by ear and hopefully have a great race."