Singapore GP: Race Press Conference


Please welcome the podium of the 2011 Singapore Grand Prix. In third for Renault, Jonas Andersson. Second for McLaren, Reiko Lill. And taking his fourth win of the year, for Ferrari, Kris Locksey.

Q: You said after qualifying that you would have the winning car and now it seems you were right?

Kris Locksey: Yeah, haha, lucky coincidence. No but I really felt that I had a good control of things when I finally got the lead, I could have pushed harder but there were no reason, I felt pretty secure I would win at that point. But for sure I was lucky today too. If Kristoffer would have stayed on track it would have been very difficult overtaking, but sometimes a bit of luck is more efficient than a great race car.

Q: The first stint seemed to be very intense?

KL: It was. I was a bit surprised though to be honest, I felt the speed was pretty slow at that point of the race. Obviously with added pressure things get difficult, but nonetheless slow. So Reiko had no problems keeping up and that made my position kind of precarious. Both trying to overtake Kristoffer while keeping the McLaren behind. Things changed after the first stop and as I said, after I got the lead it became a pretty straightforward race. Just managing the material, making sure everything would last.

Q: Now we come to classic Suzuka, you have the lead in the championship. How big are the chances of you keeping it after Japan?

KL: I think you can get a better answer by flipping a coin than asking me. It is just so very close right now. I have always liked Suzuka but I have never managed to win there so perhaps there is a small Red Bull advantage. But I know we can win everywhere so I am looking forward to the race and hopefully I can finally get a win there.

Q: Reiko, a great race from you and you duly delivered in the McLaren, how does it feel to be in the team?

Reiko Lill: It feels great! After switching teams several times for many reasons I finally have found the right place and I hope the Mclaren team are happy with me too. You must find the team and built it up with you to have great results in the championship and thats what I am going to do in this remaining year. The atmosphere is great, everyone supports me and I have quite good feedback with my race engineer so everything goes well.

Q: Can you guide us through your race?

RL: I had a normal start, not very good, not very bad. Started with options and we hoped that it will pay off in the beggining. It did, but there was a problem. I couldn´t overtake Kris and Kristoffer. There just wasn´t any space and I didn´t want to have a crash in the beggining so I calmly watched what the guys in front of me did. About on lap 5-6 I span and lost precious 4-5 seconds to Kris and Kristoffer. That pissed me off quite a bit and I pushed even harder from that on. I managed to close the gap, but then the tyres were in pretty bad shape so I decided to not even try the overtake move. The calculations were that the options will last about 20 laps, but in my case they only lasted 15 laps so we changed for primes in the pits.There was another problem in the pits, when the wheel nut didn´t get on and we lost about another 4 seconds with that. Nevertheless, after pit stop it was just getting the quick and stable lap times. Kris just managed to get in front of me after his pit stop which was a shame because I hoped that I can hold him behind me, when I am able to get in front of him, but I wasn´t. My engineer told me that my pace was way off from Kris(about 1 second per lap) so it was obvious that I have to settle with the third place. But then I saw Kristoffer moving slowly and I understood that he has hit the wall for some reason. That was obviously great news for me(feel sorry for him nevertheless, but mistakes happen). And from then I just held my second place and brought a podium finish home for the Mclaren. Proud of it and proud of my team, who did a great job setting up the car. We still have some work to do with managing our tyres in the race and we hope to fix that problem for Japan.

Q: Jonas, a fantastic place from 11th on the grid to third. The car seemed to have some serious speed today?

Jonas Andersson: Yeah, today was a good day. I wasn't too optimistic going into this race weekend, and even less so when I missed practice due to some illness. But Jörgen and the team did a good job to prepare a good handling and quick car. Of course it would still be difficult to start from the back of the grid, but I was aggressive in the first lap and was able to follow Peter and we were fourth and fifth at the end of the lap. After that I followed Peter through the first stint, and even though I felt a bit quicker than him it was difficult to find a gap. I jumped him in the pit stop, but as he was on a one-stopper I had to hunt him down later and after I passed him, I could immediately pull a gap on him and look after my third place.

Q: You had some close moments with Peter today, tell us about that?

JA: When I caught up with Peter in the final stint, I knew I had to make the most out of my tire advantage before I started losing grip. I got a good run out of turn 9 and went to the inside. It was tight into turn 10 with some wheel-banging, but I was able to pass him. It was a bold move, but it worked out.

Published 2011-09-24 by Kris Locksey | Edit