Johnny Cecotto. driving fr Trident. is currently third in the Drivers’ Standings after a superb beginning to the season which included two race wins in Spain and in Austria last time out. The Venezuelan answered some questions for Callum Rowe’s GP2 Blog and he seems to be much more of a grounded and mature driver compared to this time last year.
Q. The championship is in full swing after eight races. How do you think your season has gone so far?
Johnny Cecotto: I’m very happy with how the season went so far, I found a great team with great professionals, and they are all so passionate about this sport. It’s great to work with them and we are having great results. We had a bit of bad luck in the first weekend but since then we grew every weekend on speed and pace in the races, which is the most important thing about our season so far.
Q. Last season some had described your driving style as a little bit erratic, now it appears to be a lot calmer, measured and mature. Have you changed anything in your approach on track this season?
JC: Every year you learn a lot of things and you grow as a person and as a racing driver. I definitely started this season with another approach and with even more physical and mental preparation but the biggest difference this year is the team. I feel so good with them and they gave me a great car and most of all they listen and trust in me 1000% so we work together fantastically. The biggest mistake I made last year was to try and make the difference in situations where the car wasn’t at level and to try and compensate I was going over the lines.
Q. Back in 2010 you drove with Trident in GP2. Now you have returned to the team do you see any differences in how the team operates?
JC: The team has grown a lot. Some of the people that are in the team now were there back in 2010 and they learnt and matured a lot and there are a few newcomers, which have been great for the team. I can even see a growth in me and the team in this season because working together we are moving forward quickly.
Q. You bagged your first win of the season in Spain to the slight shock of many fans of the GP2 Series. Did you expect to win the race on such a different strategy to the other frontrunners?
JC: Honestly I didn’t think that was possible before the race but most of the job was done with a great start and mega first lap which placed me in the top 5 and most importantly first of the drivers starting on the prime tyre which gave me the possibility to drive exactly the pace I wanted to be quick enough but also to conserve tyres.
Q. Your points tally at this point in the season is almost double that of yours at the end of the 2013 season. Are you able to pinpoint any significant differences that have led to this surge in fantastic performances?
JC: Well the main difference is the team and the car. Last year I had problems with my car since the beginning of the season both in Qualifying and in the races; the main problem was that the team never found the problem so I was driving a car which was way off the pace.
Q. Lying third in the Drivers’ Standings, you are behind Felipe Nasr and Jolyon Palmer. Do you consider yourself a contender for the GP2 title this year?
JC: Well definitely our objective since the beginning of the season is to fight for the championship; we had a very unlucky season opener but since than we are running consistent with the top two drivers so we are definitely in for the title fight.
Q. The next event of this season is at Silverstone. You have only ever scored points at that track once, albeit a second place finish back in 2012, but what do you think you have to do to master the track and get a win?
JC: I love Silverstone and I have always been very quick here even in my Formula 1 test last year. I finished second in 2012 with a 17 second pit stop so I could have easily won the race that year and in race 2 if you remember I was running fourth and Gutierrez took me of only a few hundred meters before the finish. On top of that the track layout is quiet similar to Austria with all these quick corners so our car must be fantastic in Silverstone, I can’t wait to be there.
Q. This is your sixth year in GP2 and it looks likely to be your last given the amount of experience you have gained. Looking ahead, what do you expect to be doing in 2015? F1 must be the ultimate goal?
JC: This will be my fourth complete season and at the moment I’m fully concentrated in doing the best job in 2014 in GP2, no other thoughts or plans for the moment.