VICTORY IN SHANGHAI. ROLDAN MAKES HISTORY IN GP2
Shanghai – China. 18-10-2008
ROLDAN MAKES HISTORY IN GP2
It was in Shanghai where the driver got his first win in GP2, in the very first race of the Asian GP2 Championship. If Roldan was already the first ever Spanish driver to get the pole position after making the best time in the classification, on Saturday he became the first one to win the very first race and doing it from the pole.
Roldan started the race from the first line together with Kobayashi. The Japanese got him on the first lap, but at 4 laps from the end and thanks to a mistake done by the DAMS’ driver, Roldan got back to the first place and managed to cross the finish line as the winner.
How does victory taste like? “Tastes great. It’s a victory I have been waiting for a long time and that comes with perfect timing. We have always wanted to be there, we have always been fast and this is the award for the hardwork that even though remains unseeing to most, it has always been there”
Did you expect Kobayashi to make a mistake at any point? “Well Kobayashi is like that. We have seen it on the trainings, last week, during the time trials and the free ones, he is very fast but he makes mistakes. I did my race, I gave my all in each lap, didn’t make any mistakes and that has made the difference to finally win”
There were times when you kept the distance, others that you came close, did you try to put pressure on him and make him fail? “I was pushing it to the limit all the time, I made a little mistake, but I was to the limit all race long.”
When he passed you, was it impossible to stop him? “He was far away and when I saw him there was no way to reach him. Anyway, from the beginning my car a bit out of control, it was very difficult to enter the curves and I think that was the reason why the rythm was slow paced. However at the end, when the back tires started to wear away, the car also started to go better and everything came together.”
How was the last lap? “Ok. Until the last curve I didn’t want to think in anything else besides going forward, because the other guy was too close to me and I knew he could try on the last lap again. So I never really got naive”
Yesterday you made history with the pole and today you did it also with the win. What do you think about? “Well, hopefully this won’t be the last time. This win is very important and now we have to think about tomorrow and in the Championship already, because a victory does not automatically give you a place in F1. You got to win many times and perform well always”
It’s impossible to start better, isn’t it? “I have always been there. 3rd in Paul Ricard, 3rd and 2nd on last day’s training, the pole and the win. Great, without a doubt, the car is functioning alright, I feel comfortable in this team, they trust me, they did before and they do now and it’s just perfect.”
Which rivals are more dangerous? “I think Kobayashi is. He is fast, he is from Toyota, he trains in F1, and it’s his 2nd year in the same team doing Europe and Asia. After him I would say Yamamoto, he didn’t seem to be that fast and look at him now. Then you got Van der Garde, whom is also fast. At the end of the day you can never be over confident or naive, there’s always going to be 5 or 6 extremely fast drivers.
You have beat two F1 test drivers. Is this Roldan’s real level? “I think it is, sincerely speaking. I have always fought and I have always been up there everywhere I have competed. Which is not normal is what happened during the last season, qualifying the 17th or 18th. I’m working a lot and I’ve got the experience to be fighting for the best placings.”