Here are the quotes from the top three drivers from Silverstone Race 2. Race winner William Buller (Carlin), Conor Daly (Lotus GP) and Patric Niederhauser (Jenzer Motorsport).
GP3 Series: Congratulations, your first win in GP3, from last to first! And a great weekend for Carlin, tell us about the crazy race out there?
William Buller: “First of all it was a great weekend for Carlin. The team really needed this, so two wins this weekend is great. It’s really lifted the team, the whole atmosphere is great. I am so happy to be at this team. For the race, it was something special, coming from last to first! We had a bad day yesterday hitting two cars in the first corner and we didn’t finish so we had to start from the back. So I called slicks and it was the right decision. I had had a lot of experience racing in Britain, so I know how to drive in these conditions. That experience helped me a lot. It was spitting on the grid and 14 laps is quite a long race. But I thought let’s go for it and we did! I just had to stay with it for the first 4-5 laps and then we started picking them off. I didn’t get the fastest lap which was a bit disappointing but I didn’t push the last four laps because there was no point with the yellow flags. There was no point getting a penalty so I am very happy with everything. I am glad to get my first win in GP3.”
GP3 Series: And you couldn’t have picked it at a better place for yourself and the team, home victory!
William: “Yes exactly the home GP for me and Carlin which adds to it and makes it more special. We are all over the moon. The second half of the year is going to suit me more with my driving style with Hockenheim , Spa and Monza. Valencia we struggled but now in qualifying I should have been in the top three but it just didn’t work out with the yellows. Our speed is strong and me and Antonio have been working well together, he’s a good teammate. I’m a happy man!”
GP3 Series: How hard was it to manage the slick tyres at the end of the race?
William: “I had to manage it at the start and when you are trying to pass those on wets, they don’t really want to let you past. But the speed difference is something else. Once the wets overheat, they just start to fall off. I just had to keep calm and keep my nose clean for the first four to five laps. I knew it would come to me. I was pretty confident from the start of the race and I could see the clouds were passing. But in Silverstone you never know what can happen.”
GP3 Series: What’s your overall aim for the rest of the season?
William: With GP3 it’s my first year, I am really getting the car and tyres under me now. I am starting to understand it as today I have proved , I am getting to grips with everything. It’s basically just to win races and hopefully be in the top three at the end of the season.
GP3 Series: Congratulations P2! Brave decision to go with slicks today?
Conor Daly: “Honestly, I was really unhappy with the decision to go on slicks. I was shaking my head, I couldn’t it. When you are at the front you want to go with the majority of what everyone else is doing, but you know it was the right call. I never should have doubted the Lotus guys, seriously they really know what they are doing. I think since I am not as high in the championship as my Lotus teammates, the team may have felt it was better to take the gamble with me on slicks. It was a good day for the championship in general since Mitch and Aaro didn’t score. It’s great to be driving for a team like that and well done to the Carlin guys. I know they are good from my time with them last year and it’s great to see them fighting at the front with us. It was crazy at the beginning. Honestly I was driving like a bit of a nancy at the beginning just because I wanted to stay on track and hopefully being there at the end. I have to thank all of the other drivers for not running into me because I know I was quite slow. Once it started drying out, it was fantastic. The car was really good and the gaps were so massive, I never thought I couldn’t make it up that much. I didn’t even know where I was at the finish, I thought I was fourth or fifth and turns out I was second, so not bad at all!”
GP3 Series: How hard was it to manage the conditions and the tyres at the beginning?
Conor: “It was so wet so our tyres never began building any grip. I started on used slicks and I think Buller was on brand new which definitely was a help to him. The start was quite good and I thought I had some grip but as soon as I got around the first corner and everyone else came around on the wets they could brake so much later. Once it was drying out you could push really hard. It was all about pushing the limits but remaining on track. I never put a wheel off so it was good fun race!”
GP3 Series: Now at the midway point of the season, what are you hoping to achieve in the next four rounds?
Conor: “So far I have no penalties for the next race so if I can get a Race 1 win that will be a good haul of points. I need a good race 1 and race 2 together. I tend to have an average Race 1 and then we come back for the second race. Now we are in a good position to be able to challenge in Germany and I am just looking forward to it. I think we have wiped our slate clean after this weekend and overcome the penalty we had. We had a good first race and good today. I am ready to keep it going!”
GP3 Series: Congratulations, another podium! Tell us about the race as you were leading for part of it?
Patric Niederhauser: “I was leading for a few laps which was great. The race yesterday was a bit difficult as we had mixed conditions especially at the beginning. Today was a crazy race! At the start we thought to go on wets then we thought slicks, we were undecided but we made the right decision to go with wets. It was still very wet at the beginning of the race. I had a good start but then I had a little contact with Laine and I lost a lot of places. Soon after I moved up and made some overtakes and I realised I was very quick. I moved up near the top. I had a brilliant car at this point as I was much faster than the other guys. It was a bit of gamble but my team decided for me to stay out on wets and I think again this was the right decision. If you look to the other guys, they lost more than we did, for example you see what Visoiu did, he also moved up a lot of places, another good call from the team. Congratulations to William on his win! After starting last, he had nothing to lose and made the gamble. And at the end he managed to win! For us it’s a great result to make another podium because at the end my wet tyres were completely gone.”
GP3 Series: Describe the conditions and the challenge of today!
Patric: “It was really hard as there were some really wet places and some places that were dry, so in the middle of the race there was a dry line appearing and I struggled with my tyres to cool them down. What impressed me the most about William was that he managed to stay on track at the beginning which must have been really hard. I pushed really hard the first three – four laps to gain places, then I realised I had to look after my tyres when it was drying up so I pushed hard in the wet corners and in the dry areas I tried to save the tyres and I think I managed it well.”
GP3 Series: So you are pleased with third, not too disappointed to miss out on another win?
Patric: “Of course! I am happy with the podium but I am always disappointed if I cannot win the race. At one stage I thought wow I am leading with a large advantage so I thought just bring it home. But then I realised that the other guys were putting slicks on and coming forward. You have to be patient and take the maximum result available out of the situation. So I am still very happy for me and the team.”
GP3 Series: We are at the midway point of the season now, what can you and Jenzer do in the remaining rounds?
Patric: “Well I have not raced at Hockenheim even though this is the race track closest to my home. But I think we have had some difficult races this year but there will be races I know much better ahead of me. I am feeling very positive about the next races. I think we will get some more podiums.”