GP3 Series: Arjun Maini, GP3 Series race winner. How does that sound?
Arjun Maini: It sounds amazing. It was a hard fought race. I had a good start and managed to take the lead from Hyman although I was challenged by Boccolacci as well. He was putting a lot of pressure in the first few laps. He was pushing hard. It was difficult to keep him behind me, but once I managed to do that, I was able to pull out of the DRS zone. It was a pretty consistent and simple race after that for me. I just had to maintain my pace and save the tyres as much as I good. It felt amazing to cross the finish line! A lot of happy emotions took over. I want to thank the team because they’ve been working really hard since the beginning of the year. To finally give this good result with both cars to them is incredible.
GP3 Series: We did see your tears on the podium. That was a nice moment to witness…
Arjun: I think Jenzer deserve it. We are putting up a challenge to ART now. We have a strong chance. I’m really looking forward to the next round. We’ll see how it goes.
GP3 Series: Today was a big step compared to yesterday’s race…
Arjun: Yes I was very disappointed with the race yesterday. My pace was not there as it usually is for various reasons, but at least we saw that Alessio had the pace. So we looked at things over night and we made a few changes on the car. Today, it was back to how it normally is. I was really happy with the pace. We were very strong and managed to pull a big gap.
GP3 Series: What do you take from this round to carry over to the next in Spielberg?
Arjun: I think that we need to improve on qualifying. I need to get myself together a bit because I’m not putting the lap together. I think that’s the main thing: to get higher up on the grid in order to challenge for the big points in Race 1.
GP3 Series: Dorian, P2 today on your first round in GP3. How was Race 2 for you?
Dorian Boccolacci: It was good. I took a good start just like I did yesterday. We are really competitive at the start. I took P2 into Turn 1. Then, as soon as the DRS was enabled, I tried to overtake Maini for a couple of laps. But he defended quite well and it was really difficult. After that, I realised that I had to cool down because I had been using the tyres too much. If I had kept on pushing like that, I would have never had been able to finish the race like it happened yesterday. So I had a think and I decided to just manage the tyres until the end. I was in a good position and Maini was really fast in front of me. I kept my position and I had to defend it a couple of times from Hubert. Then I knew he had no more DRS, so I was just keeping the tyres safe. When I saw Lorandi overtook Anthoine, I knew he had 2 more DRS opportunities so I pushed again a bit more. I had enough tyres to finish the race this time. I am quite happy because I made a good improvement between yesterday and today in terms of tyre management.
GP3 Series: Next up is a testing session in Budapest in a couple of weeks, what will you be working on?
Dorian: I think we just have to keep on working on understanding the tyres better and other little details, but we need to keep working in the same direction as what we’ve done during the pre-season tests. I think we proved this weekend that we have done a good job so far. Now we know better our strengths and weaknesses so we need improve on the latter and see how we can carry that throughout the rest of the season.
GP3 Series: Alessio, P3 again today. Two podium finishes in the opening round of the season: what a great way to start!
Alessio Lorandi: It feels great, definitely! We started P6 today. I overtook a car down into Turn 1 on the first lap. I wanted to take another one to move up to P4, but I got squeezed and I had to hold off. Then, I tried to score the fastest lap which probably caused me some problems at the end of the race… After that, I tried to remain calm and manage the tyres. I used the DRS twice to overtake Hyman and then Hubert. Then, I caught Boccolacci and I was saving my DRS for the end of the race: I thought he would struggle in the closing stages because he had fought really hard with Arjun at the start, but he had a slightly better pace than me in the end. So I was never close enough to fight for P2. But it’s great you know. I’m really hoping that we keep this momentum and I will give everything next round especially to improve in quali. That’s definitely where we need to improve on to try and catch up the ART cars. I like Spielberg a lot so I’m looking forward to the next round.
GP3 Series: But first, you will work some more with your team at the tests in Budapest…
Alessio: Yes and then we will have to wait some more before round 2. But it’s good that we’re now P2 and P3 in the standings. It’s good for the team. We know we have the pace and the potential to challenge the other teams this season. I’m very confident.