Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the GP3 Press Conference for Monza Race 1. Firstly, we have Daniel Abt, race winner for Lotus GP, second is Marussia Manor Racing's Tio Ellinas and third Matias Laine (MW Arden).
GP3 Series: Daniel, congratulations, two wins in seven days - you must be pretty delighted with how the season has ended?
Daniel Abt: "Yes it's hard to describe this feeling, if somebody would have told me I would be in this position two weeks ago, I would have told them they were crazy. It took me so long to get my first win and now seven days after that I get another. It's not just that I won this race but it's also how the race has ended with all my competitors in the championship. I really dreamt about this scenario to happen and it really has happened. Its crazy, I've had so many races with bad luck I think this time I get it paid back. Today was lucky for me."
GP3 Series: Lets talk about the start, tell us about the first few laps...
Abt: "My start was pretty good I would say. Already before the first corner, I was already behind Evans. There was no space to pass him but I was so quick that if there had been more tarmac I would have got passed. He started pole and I was in seventh so I was a bit surprised. It was a bit tight going into the first corner so I decided to run wide as I couldn't see who was inside and there were many cars stuck. I wanted to avoid crashing. I overtook Evans through the run-off area and gave the position back, I think I was P4 at that time. It all just went so fast. Two laps later I was leading and I was thinking, what the hell is going on! I really didnt have the pace in free practice and in qualifying, we were really struggling and disappointed. We changed the car a lot and somehow it helped."
GP3 Series: You and Aaro were fighting at it tooth and nail, what was going through your head?
Abt: I had one thought only, I told myself I had to win this race. To still be in the position to win the Championship I knew if Aaro passed me that my chance is gone. Aaro was also an enemy for me in the title battle so one of my goals was to overtake him in the championship. I think we fought fair, so I think it went well and I managed to keep him behind in the end."
GP3 Series: It all goes down to tomorrow morning, you have a chance of becoming champion. How do you approach that?
Daniel: "Well I don't think too much about the title to be honest. I've had little thoughts about it but my main goal is to do a race like I did today. If I do the same, I can again win the race. If I make a really good start, I have to avoid trouble, if all the guys around me race fair and don't do anything stupid, there is a chance. Then of course I have to see what Evans does. I think he has a really hard job to come back tomorrow. I will try and make the best of it, a clean race and no mistakes. If I win tomorrow and Evans doesn't score tomorrow, it will be a crazy Sunday night for sure! It's not as easy as it looks as to start from eighth and to finish first will be hard, everything has to go right, also if someone does silly stuff because its the last race and defend a podium or whatever, anything can happen. I just need to stay focused, give my best and make no silly mistakes."
GP3 Series: Tio congratulations on P2, you've had a lot of bad luck this year, does this make up for it?
Tio Ellinas: "Yes like you said I've had very bad luck this year so this podium was a good recovery this weekend. I have been really waiting for this. I got a good start from P5 and got a good run into turn one and I braked a bit late and ran a bit wide. Evans went off on the run-off area and he came just in front of me and I got stuck behind him. I couldn't make a move and the other guys came past me and I went back to P10. So I had to start again from there."
GP3 Series: You have shown a lot this year through the race weekends your ultimate pace but it hasn't translated through into the races, what do you put that down too?
Ellinas: "Yes three or four times this season we had problems, one in Barcelona, Silverstone, Hungary and one in free practice this weekend which cost me a better qualifying. It didnt help me at all this year to progress through and achieve what I wanted. Due to the problems we dropped back in the championship. Our aim was to be on the podium or win a race, but we were once on the podium in Valencia but I was penalised by the stewards and dropped back to P5. It was a very good moment for me. I really wanted to win today because I knew I had the pace too. I was trying into Ascari on the exit and I was going to make a move but I saw the yellow flags so I had to back off."
GP3 Series: What can you hope to achieve in the race tomorrow?
Ellinas: "I need to make a good start again tomorrow. Daniel did a great job today and won the race from where he started so I know I am able to win tomorrow. Either me, Daniel or Matias can win the race tomorrow, its down to proper racing!"
GP3 Series: Matias, congratulations, another podium, and a great start to the race, tell us about it.
Matias Laine: "Yes I started with the new tyres and I made another good start like I did in Spa. After two laps I didnt have the pace that the others had so I just played smart and tried to follow the others and hope they destroy their tyres at the end. I couldnt keep up with them in the end."
GP3 Series: How were the tyres today?
Laine: "For me the drop-off was quite big. It was difficult to drive the car at the end."
GP3 Series: Do you have any understanding to why their was the big drop-off?
Laine: "I think we just a lot of a bit of a balance for the race. But I think if we work hard and get the balance right for tomorrow we can get the pace for Race 2."
GP3 Series: Obviously you are racing for yourself but your teammate Evans is fighting for the title, were you told to do anything differently for the race?
Laine: "No everybody does their own job and thats it."
GP3 Series: What can we expect from you tomorrow?
Laine: "I think when we get the data from the car and fix the balance, make a good start tomorrow, we can do a good job tomorrow."
GP3 Series: Can you help Mitch tomorrow?
Laine: "Let's see what happens!" Laughing.