Palmer, Trummer and Leal talk about their race

GP2 Series: Jolyon, congratulations on a beautiful today. How was the race?

Jolyon Palmer: It was pretty tough. Obviously, the start was pretty good. That made up for yesterday’s bad start so I’m happy for that. And then I knew I had to pass Trummer straight away because he looked really strong on the tyres. Once I passed him, I was just controlling the race. Trummer and Leal were the quickest yesterday on the long runs so, it was difficult to manage with those guys behind and be under pressure. I just survived and maintained the gap. I’m really happy to win.

GP2 Series: You seemed to have found a better set-up today to save your tyres as well…

Jolyon: I was driving a lot more conservative with the knowledge of what happened yesterday. And you never know when you’re in the lead. You know how you’re feeling on the tyres but, you don’t know if the guys behind are saving a lot or if they’re struggling. I was always keeping quite a lot in and driving a bit differently. We worked on the balance and the set-up which I think is positive now and hopefully will help for the rest of the season.

GP2 Series: Pole position on Friday, podium and bonus point for fastest lap yesterday, and a win today… You’ve had an amazing weekend here in Sakhir. You’re in the lead of the Series today. How does that feel?

Jolyon: Really good! I could not have hoped for more. I certainly expected to be fighting at the front this weekend and we’ve been always at the front fighting for the win for most of the race yesterday and winning today. Everything has been perfect really. DAMS have done a really good job. I’m happy for them and looking forward to Barcelona.

GP2 Series: Barcelona is up next indeed. What are your expectations?

Jolyon: There will be new challenges in Barcelona I think. Normally we do some testing there before the start of the season, but we didn’t this year. There’ll be some things that we’re going to learn in the free practice so we will probably use more of the 45 minutes than we did here. But I just want to focus on staying at the front in qualifying in order to make the whole weekend a lot easier.

GP2 Series: Simon, P2 today, your best result in GP2. It is your first podium in the Series. How does that feel?

Simon Trummer: It feels really good. Obviously I knew before the race that we could achieve a good result today. I just had to make the start great. I took P1 at the start so on the first lap I was leading. Jolyon was really quick at the beginning of the race. I could not hold him back. So I didn’t defend too much because I knew I had to save the tyres for the race and the race would be long. But I was a bit wrong because he kept this strong pace all race long. Even at the end of the race I thought he would struggle more but he didn’t. It was really hard to attack him. That was a great race. I had a great pace and I’m happy with P2.

GP2 Series: Let’s talk about yesterday. You made an unfortunate mistake on the pre-grid, but you managed to recover from it… How was it from the car?

Simon: Well, it’s the first start of the year so I tried to do it like last year, but that did not work at all so I stalled… I was thinking that the weekend was going to be really tough because then I had to start from the pitlane. But our pace was so good. I fought my way back to P7 and it gave me to start today from P2.

GP2 Series: You pitted on lap 30, two laps before the chequered flag. When did you decide to go with this strategy?

Simon: What we said at the beginning of the race was that we just see what happens. We kept it open. I was thinking five laps before the end that we should stop but the team kept me going. Like this, we could gain some positions. Maybe if we had stopped earlier, we could have gained even more positions, but it also means taking more risks because you have to overtake more cars, even with fresh tyres.

GP2 Series: You kept your tyres alive for 30 laps too without losing your pace. That’s impressive…

Simon: When I was by myself, that was the key. When you’re leading the race, you have fresh air and you can really manage your tyres. You don’t have to fight or defend. We could do 30 laps like that. That was really good.

GP2 Series: Looking ahead, Barcelona is next on the calendar. Your results this weekend must be a really good boost before round 2. What are your objectives?

Simon: I’m looking forward to driving again because this car is just really nice to drive. The thing is that we have five weeks now to work on qualifying and we will do that. We have to start more in front. For sure I cannot wait to be in Barcelona!

GP2 Series: Julian, P3 today. Another podium finish this weekend. How are you feeling?

Julian Leal: Like I told you yesterday, yesterday was amazing. Today, it’s even more (Laughs)! It’s unbelievable to start the season like this. I’m really happy. The team is really happy as well. This feeling is amazing. We’re now second in the Series, but we have to think about Barcelona already. We have to keep this momentum and when you do a podium, all the other podiums start coming easier. We have to keep things like this.

GP2 Series: Once again today, you had a good start to move up to P3. How was it from the car?

Julian: My start was really normal. I don’t know what happened to the guys in front! When I got to the first corner, I was already in third. After that I was only keeping my position. I was trying in the first three laps to overtake Trummer, but he was really quick. He did a really good job. Even Palmer. They were both quick. I had no chance, I kept the pace until the end and that’s it.

GP2 Series: Was tyre degradation higher today?

Julian: Yes. I think the race was a bit more difficult today. Yesterday, the tyre degradation was less. I think the temperature was higher today so I had more degradation on the rear.

GP2 Series: How are you feeling going to Barcelona next month?

Julian: It’s a circuit that I really like, but I like them all. The only thing is to try to qualify better than here because here we were very lucky in the first race with the strategy. We have the pace in the race, but we have to improve maybe a bit in qualify and I think that if we improve in that area, then we’re there.

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