Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the GP3 Press Conference for Qualifying in Monza. First we have Mitch Evans on pole from MW Arden, Antonio Felix Da Costa in second from Carlin and David Fumanelli (MW Arden) in third.
GP3 Series: Congratulations Mitch! Another pole, another four points, job done so far, how was qualifying?
Mitch Evans: "It wasn't too bad, we sort of changed our strategy when we got to the pitlane. We did a run on used tyres and then did one set of new. It put more pressure on us as we only had run to do it. Fortunately, we were able to get a lap together and I got a good tow. I am really happy with how qualifying went. Obviously the four points are what we really wanted so I am really pleased about that. I want to congratulate Antonio for a pretty fierce battle. I think it will be a good race, I am up for it and I can't wait to get out there."
GP3 Series: Was your approach today to just go out there, set the pole lap and bag the four points on offer?
Evans: "I guess so. To get any extra points is amazing so to get the four for pole is really nice. The starting position can be crucial so to be starting off pole, hopefully we can use the tyres to our advantage but it's hard to break the tow around here, I am expecting a really tough race but I am really looking forward to it.!"
GP3 Series: As you say its hard to break the tow in qualifying, how do you approach the race knowing that?
Evans: "Well you can't plan the races really, it's just how Monza is. It's a bit similar to Spa. I just have to hope that I can break the tow somehow, I don't know though", he laughs. "Everybody else in the same position, so we will just fight and let the smartest driver win."
GP3 Series: Congratulations Antonio, P2! It was very close with you and Mitch...
Antonio Felix Da Costa: "We were quick all session, we were P1 at the midway point and then only P2 at the end. I don't mind being P2, but I do mind about the four points. We had a small hope coming here for the championship but now it is a bit harder, but we are still hoping. We will approach the races like we have been doing lately. We have nothing to lose, so I will push to the maximum and try and win the race. And then the end of the Sunday morning and we will see what has happened in the title fight. But for now I want to forget that and have a good, fair race. It should be exciting."
GP3 Series: You were fast all the way through the session so that must be a boost to your confidence?
Antonio: "Even being P15 yesterday in Free Practice, I knew we could be fighting for the pole today. That's what happened, the car was good and the team did a great job. Obviously (Evans) they had the small advantage of having an extra set of tyres, so that was a smart move but we will see. Its not a huge advantage on a track like this so we will see. I just need to drive smart, stick with them and wait and see."
GP3 Series: There was a bit of moment for you near the end of the session where you appeared to be stuck in traffic, what happened?
Antonio: "I had ten drivers trying to get a tow from me and from each other. I was in front and trying to get a clear track on my own. I moved out of the line and slowed down, but there was a bit of a moment when I slowed down and with ten drivers around me they maybe were not expecting that. But I moved out of the line and I did my thing but it should be no problem."
Felix Da Costa had been called to the stewards to discuss what happened and no action taken.
GP3 Series: Talking of the tow, if you are in P2 behind Mitch on the final lap, possibly that will give you an advantage?
Antonio: "Yes, like I said, I will try and win it. We have proved a point through the last few races. Only P1 is what we want."
GP3 Series: Congratulations David, P3 today, one of your best qualifying positions of the year, you must be happy with that?
David Fumanelli: "Yes I am pretty happy. I have had some bad races lately due to some mistakes and bad luck. This is my home race as I only live ten minutes from the track so I really wanted to do a good job. The qualifying session was really tough because everyone was looking for a tow. Fortunately, I had a good track position for the last lap. I did a good lap so I am happy."
GP3 Series: Italian drivers always do well, how important is the home support to you, is it an advantage to you?
David: "I actually didn't drive here very much because Monza is one of the most expensive tracks in Europe so the team doesn't test here much. I think a home race gives you a better feeling and you try to approach it in a different way. You want to perform even better and that's what makes the difference."
GP3 Series: The MW Arden team did a great job today, all three cars in the top four, how good was the car today?
David: "Yes I have to say a big thanks to the team as the car was really good. For me it won't be a really easy race because we are on a different strategy than Mitch as we used the two sets of tyres. But we saw yesterday that tyre drop-off is not so big because Pirelli brought the hard compound here. We will see what happens. I am happy with where I start on the grid but it will still be a hard race."
GP3 Series: Obviously the guys sat next to you have a championship battle to contend with, you don't, but you are up there, what can you do in the race?
David: "Mitch and Antonio are both really quick so I have to take every chance that I can and keep with them 100%. Let's see what happens!"