GP3 Series: Welcome to the press conference for today’s race 2 here at the Circuito de Jerez: joining us are race winner Alessio Lorandi from Jenzer Motorsport, in second we have Dorian Boccolacci from Trident, and in third place we have Niko Kari from Arden International. Alessio, congratulations on your first victory: how was the race for you?
Alessio Lorandi: It wasn’t really an easy race because Dorian was always on my tail right from the start, and I knew from the beginning that I would have to do a really good start and get to the inside, and that was probably 75% of the game. Luckily I managed to do it, but I was really scared of the water temperature because it was hot and I was on pole: I was very close to going to safe mode so I was really nervous at that stage, but I stayed cool and I tried to do a very good first lap. From there on I managed to save my tyres, especially the fronts because yesterday I had a slow puncture using the kerbs too much, so today I focused more on that. When Dorian got close I was able to pull a bit more of a gap, and before the safety car I was quite comfortable because I probably pulled half a second more, but then the safety car came and I had mixed feelings because I thought maybe the race will finish like this, but when we were behind the safety car we picked up a lot of rubber so it was really difficult in the warm up procedure because the tyres cooled down like crazy. It was really important to make a good restart, and it was a really tense last lap, but after we did a good turn 2 I knew it was going to be done. I want to thank the team and everyone, and also congrats to Dorian and Niko for making it here, and of course to George for winning the championship.
GP3 Series: It was a great start to the season with the podiums, but it trailed off a little until now: what do you put this resurgence down to?
Alessio: It was a really intense month: I was really frustrated in Monza, I knew it was not my fault, we had the pace to fight there for the top 5 or a podium, but I stayed cool and focused more on my job. Yesterday we struggled a lot in Race 1, I had some problems with the balance and a slow puncture on the last laps, but we managed to pack up ourselves. We had strong pace today because we were only 3-4 tenths from the fastest lap, and apart from that we were always with 2 tenths of my best lap so the pace was really good, and I want to thank the team for that. We put in a big effort and we got the result we wanted, even if it’s not the feature race it’s great.
GP3 Series: Congratulations on the win. Dorian, was there any moment in the race where you thought you would have to have a go at passing Alessio?
Dorian Boccolacci: Yes, we wanted to have a good start and maybe overtake him at the first turn because we know here in Jerez it’s really difficult to overtake, but he managed it quite well and I didn’t gain any advantage. I tried to push for the first 2 laps to see if I can find a solution to overtake him, but there was no solution so I waited to the last 5 laps because I was saving the tyres. And then the safety car came and I thought maybe it’s good, I have a chance on the last lap, but he managed the restart well too so I couldn’t do anything to win today. But the pace was good from the beginning to the end, I put the pressure on him all race long, so I think it’s good for the confidence for me and the team for the next races. Now we focus on Abu Dhabi, and will try to do a podium in the main race.
GP3 Series: You’ve been quick on the one lap pace: how does it feel to convert that into a second podium?
Dorian: Obviously we are really strong in qualifying, because we are really competitive and always in the top 5 or so, but I had a bit of trouble in the beginning of the year with the tyres because they were new and you have to adapt a bit to the tyres. But I think I managed quite well this weekend, because here in Jerez it’s really hot and it’s difficult for the tyres, so if you are good here you can be good at all the rest of the tracks, and this is a good point and helpful for the rest of my career.
GP3 Series: Congratulations on P2. Niko, I guess there is only one place to start: the crash with Dan Ticktum. What is your side of it?
Niko Kari: Yeah, that was a mistake at turn 1 and into turn 2, and I had I guess a racing incident because I felt a bit pushed out on the turn 2 exit, and there was not a lot of space for me if I’d continued because I would have been in the gravel. That’s my opinion, someone else might have another opinion, but that’s it.
GP3 Series: Before that were you satisfied with your race?
Niko: Yeah, I’d say today wasn’t as good as yesterday because we were struggling a bit with the rears, and we improved something from Monza and didn’t make any mistakes, so I think we’re going in the right direction now and everything is getting a bit more stable. I’m really looking forward to Abu Dhabi, and of course big congratulations to George for winning the championship.