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» Monza Press Conference
The top 3 talk to Dennis Hirrle (11/10/2004 12:17)

Dominik Binz claimed his first victory of the season by winning the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Yannick Lapchin finished second for Hernj Grand Prix and Gareth Clayton was third for Virtual-Games.com. All three drivers are with Dennis Hirrle now in the FSR Press Conference Centre...

FSR: Hello Dominik. A really great race from you. Great performance. But my first question directs to the 2 failed starts. What did you think when also the 2nd start failed, knowing that if the 3rd start fails as well, it would have become to an offline race? Was it hard to keep the concentration on a high level?

Binz: Hello! Thank you Dennis! Honestly, an offline race is still the worst thing to do. It’s always hard to keep the concentration on a high level and it doesn’t get better after 2 restarts. I was happy that Admin made the right decision because it gave me the chance to drive my pace today.

FSR: Your first pitstop was in lap 11, the one of PoleSetter Gareth Clayton was 3 laps earlier. And though you were only 4 thousanths of a second slower than him in the qualifying. Did you expect him, and also his teammate Kolbe, to enter the pits that early?

Binz: No. Though it was cool to realize they were lighter than me. It showed me that I was fast enough to win today and I really went for it after Gareth and Roy came to pits earlier.

FSR: When did you know that the chance is high that you can win the race?

Binz: After my last pitstop I was almost sure that I’ll win this one with a gap of 18 seconds to Yannick until that point. So I slowed down a bit and tried to safe brakes. I still had some shocking moments with lapped cars, you can never know…

FSR: 2 laps before the end your brakes failed and it seemed like a really dangerous situation. Ascari is one of the most dangerous parts of the whole track. But you “only” lost your two wings, and you saw the gap to Lapchin getting less and less. Maybe the racing god thought that he shouldn’t let you win that race without some thrilling moments?

Binz: LOL, yeah sometimes I think that. There were always exciting moments which made my heart beating before the checkered flag when I was in 1st position. But really, it was terrible. Especially when you realize that Ascari is the fastest corner on the track. Somehow I could go on without wings and brakes and it wasn’t too bad. I didn’t want to pit because if I would have done it, I would be 2nd or 3rd now…

FSR: It is your first victory of the season. How do you feel about that, I mean, surely you must be happy, but I guess you expected a little bit more before the season? And what are the goals for your teammate Markus Kokonen and yourself for the last 3 races ?

Binz: No, I didn’t expect much more. Sure, there were several occasions where I should have finished higher but overall I’m pretty happy with my season so far. You have to know that I don’t have much time for FSR this year and never expected to fight for the championship. So it’s ok for me. I simply want to have fun and get in some good results for the team. If I win that’s a bonus J My goal is to finish as high as possible in the constructors championship with Kiwi Racing. Now that Joshua, a dead sure point scorer, is away the task didn’t get easier. But Markus is a fantastic driver, very fast. If he works on his consistency and has more luck he can win races, no doubt.

FSR: Thanks Dominik. Now to Yannick who finished second today. Yannick, at the end this second place is all what was possible today, isn’t it?

Lapchin: Hmmm yes, you are right. Dom was damn faster. He was ahead with one stop more only at the middle of the race, and I couldn’t do anything against it. Dom really deserved his win. But when I take a look to the results, and when I see that I’m only 2 seconds behind Dom, not because he cooled down at the end of the race, but because he had a brake failure, maybe if I didn’t do two big mistakes I would have won (with some luck yes, thanks to Dom’s brake failure).

FSR: The first Red Flag obviously was caused by you, when you missed the braking point completely. Did you have a black out, or did you think that the right side of the road would be good to overtake some people right before the first corner?

Lapchin: I never had the intention to overtake people here. Before the race I didn’t test any start with Cc’s, so I came in the cockpit really troubled, finding that the track was damn narrow, that the cars neared too much ! Here at Monza you have to be careful with opponents in the straight especially in front of you. This causes that you have sometimes to slow down in the first straight. I hadn’t a thought about this, and in my first start I passed 2 people only in the straight. Just before the braking point I was right behind Adam. I was so much in panic that my left foot was shaking a lot, and I lost my own braking point. The only thing I could refere to was Adam just in front of me. Of course the crash wasn’t avoidable. I’m really sorry for this.

FSR: I think the 2 stop-strategy was really good for you today, as Gareth for example was not really much faster in the beginning, but did one more pitstop. But all sumed up, it wasn’t a too eventful race for you, so I’d rather like to ask you about the rest of the season, concerning the championship. You said in another interview that the title is too far away to catch it anymore. Now, today, your opponent Kolbe was only on 5th place in the end, and the gap is now 18 points. And there are still 39 points to distribute in the last three races. Did you get your hope for the title back after this race?

Lapchin: Before everything, yes I think that 2 stops was the best strategy. Ok for the championship I still don’t have many hopes, as Roy is a talented driver and will be clever enough to keep the car on the track (though I’m looking for good attack in race from you Roy, maybe you’ll the bad mistake haha ;p). To be honest, I’m more looking for 2nd place in the constructor championship, and I hope Christian, and all the team will do a good job for the last three races of the season, as we always did. I’m waiting for fun, more than the title.

FSR: Thanks Yannick. Well Gareth, after your first pole-position this year, a 3rd place has come out in the race. A little bit unhappy ?

Clayton: Yes maybe a little, but I'm happy with my performance. When I had a clear track my laptimes were good and I made no big mistakes. My brakes were not so effective on my last stint, and I slowed down a bit there. I had to be a bit cautious to finish because of the team championship, so all in all, I think it went well.

FSR: After your first pitstop - you took a bigger amount of fuel than your teammate - you was stuck behind Garivaldis and lost a few seconds. Do you think that was crucial for Lapchin becoming 2nd ?

Clayton: Well, I lost 10 seconds behind Gabriel at the very least, so probably it was significant for the outcome of the race. I came out of my first stop right behind Fausto and Gabriel who were having a scrap. That's the downside of qualifying with 8 laps of fuel! I passed Fausto when he made a mistake, but when I first tried to pass Gabriel I got a little bump on the start/finish straight at 300 kph. It's very hard to race wheel to wheel with an Aussie, because where I see him is not where he really is, and vice versa. So I ended up waiting until he made his stop on lap 17, and then put my foot down.

FSR: Next track is Bahrain. A new adventure. What do you expect on the track which is in the middle of nowhere?

Clayton: Yes a new track is a great challenge, because none of us know what to expect. I haven't driven or even seen the track yet, but I'm looking forward to it. I only know what I saw on TV earlier this year. It was a bit surreal to see F1 cars in the desert, but it did look like nice track. Probably the best new F1 circuit of the last few years, but still it's obviously no Spa-Francorchamps.

FSR: Thank you Gareth. Back to Dominik. Please a few words in your own language.

Binz: Das war vielleicht ein Rennen! Richtig abgefahren J Ich bin wirklich froh, gewonnen zu haben. Das motiviert für den Rest der Saison. Nun freue ich mich auf die restlichen Strecken. Besonders gespannt bin ich auf Shanghai und Bahrain, wobei ich Shanghai schonmal probiert habe. Ein fantastischer Kurs! Bis zum nächsten mal dann!

FSR: And as I asked Dominik a few more questions today than the others, also Yannick and Gareth have now the possibility to express their feelings in their own language ;-).

Lapchin: Salut les gars, je suppose que c’est surtout les membres de pilotesf1 qui liront ce petit passage donc je voudrais leur faire un petit coucou. Merci pour votre soutient, ça m’aide vraiment à garder la motivation quelques fois J Cette course n’a pas été aussi fun que celle de Spa, mais elle a représenté un certain enjeu. Au niveau de la stratégie déjà, et il était intéressant de savoir laquelle était la meilleure. Au final je pense que c’était celle d’HernjGP. Malheureusement j’ai fais 2 belles erreurs qui m’ont peut être coûté la victoire… Forza FELYN, gogogo les gars !!!!! ;-p

FSR: Thank you. And Gareth please.

Clayton: Hoffwn i dweud helo i bob simracers Gymraeg! Llongyfarchiadau i Dominik a Yannick!

FSR: Thank you all very much. See you at Bahrain!

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