Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the GP3 Press Conference for the top three from Race 1 in Hockenheim. First, we welcome race winner Patric Niederhauser from Jenzer Motorsport, second was Conor Daly from Lotus GP and third was Kevin Ceccon from Ocean Racing Technology.
GP3 Series: Another win for you, maybe not the race you were expecting today, how hard were the conditions out there?
Patric Niederhauser: "It was the most difficult wet race I have done and also the most strange. At the beginning I knew it would be tough but I looked up at the clouds and I knew it would rain. I was surprised so many drivers had the slick tyres on, except Conor of course, we chose the wets. It was already impossible to race when we started. Behind the safety car it was all very strange. I'm not sure how many laps we did but my engineer said on the radio we will only have four-five laps to race before the chequered flag. I just tried to get past Conor as soon as possible as I knew visibiity was difficult for the person leading so I knew I havd to take my chance. I saw Conor was struggling a little and I knew it would be difficult to overtake him at the hairpin. We stayed close and had a good fight and then I did it."
GP3 Series: Once you got the lead, how hard was it to deal with the conditions and keep Daly behind you?
Niederhauser: "At that moment I didn't really think a lot. You just push because you want to get away from those guys. I just wanted to maintain my pace and push without making any stupid mistakes."
GP3 Series: So to sum up your weekend so far?
Niederhauser: "After qualifying I finished P8 but started P6 with the penalties, so I didnt have high expectations of a win today. But when I saw the rain clouds, I thought anything was possible and I knew I had a chance. I gave it everything and this result is fantastic. The whole team has done a great job."
GP3 Series: P1 for the majority of the race and you finished second, how was it out there for you?
Conor Daly: "I was fine behind the safety car. We had a similar thing happen last year at Silverstone where drivers had started on different tyres and because I started on the wets, I was a little disappointed we started behind the safety car. Of course for safety I understand why we did, but I was hoping everyone would have to pit. Behind the safety car, I just wanted to go, go go! When the sun came out 'I thought great, my tyres are going to melt'. In the race we were quite quick and I ended up with the fastest lap. I tried hard to hold Patric off but in the end, P2 is alright."
GP3 Series: How was it out there once the safety car went back in?
Daly: "It was ok, it took a few laps to get the temperature into the tyres and then I was able to close in again on Patric. We had a good fight, we had three-four corners where we battled wheel to wheel and that was fun. In the end I just couldn't do it, but it was a massive points result for me today in the championship. I saw Felix Da Costa in the gravel and I knew Evans wasn't having his best result so championship wise regarding points, today was a great day. It's my first Race 1 podium so I will take that."
GP3 Series: Was it annoying to be behind the safety car so long?
Daly: "It was frustrating as I wanted to be driving! At the very start of the race I nearly ended up backwards in turn one but luckily the guys around me were smart and backed off. It's annoying if you have led most of the race as you should be able to keep it but Patric was faster than me and there was nothing I could do about it."
GP3 Series: Congratulations P3, tell us about your race?
Kevin Ceccon: "I am happy with P3, firstly because we made the right tyre choice at the start. Today I was really aggressive with my tyre strategy. On the grid we were on the dry tyre but we looked at the weather and decided to go with wets. I am really happy for the team, we are still new so a Race 1 podium and these points are great. It was a strange result as the others have explained. I was trying to get the fastest lap at the end but I didn't want to lose important points so it was easier to be careful as I had nobody in front or behind me. I thought I had a small chance of the win today but I made a small mistake and lost time."
GP3 Series: What do you think you can do in Race 2 tomorrow?
Ceccon: "Tomorrow I start P6, so if I gain some positions we will see what we can do. I think the weather will be like today, changeable, which is good so I think it will be fun."
GP3 Series: Are you hoping for a dry/wet race tomorrow and do you think you can be on the podium again?
Ceccon: "Like I think it was in Silverstone, tomorrow's race will be another lottery if the weather is unpredictable. Race 2 points would also be nice so if I can get another podium I would be very happy."