Driver Interviews for Round 7 of the World Championship featuring Daniel Kiss and Fran Lopez.
Kiss: "I should've been fighting for the win"
Dániel Kiss, of Musto Racing, wasn't happy with his third place finish at the British Grand Prix and believed his car had more potential.
"I should have been fighting for the win, but couldn't really drive my pace as I was stuck behind guys for two thirds of the race."
Starting from P4 in the race, Kiss started from the wetter side of the grid.
He said: "I immediately lost three positions into turn 1, so it went horribly."
"Track position means everything this year"
"In the first few laps, I was taking it too easy because I was thinking of Bahrain where I was struggling in these conditions when we used slicks on a drying track. I didn't want to make the same mistakes again and took it too easy. I wasn't particularly happy with the first few laps, but I wanted to make sure not to put a single tyre on the wet part."
Kiss said that he couldn't follow the drivers ahead of him because of his lack of pace, but was mindful of Daniel Brewer behind him, who he managed to pull away from. Brewer was behind him on the prime tyres which made overtaking difficult on the damp track. Kiss said that it wasn't the wet track early on that made overtaking difficult.
He added: "Unfortunately, overtaking is extremely difficult even on a full dry track with this car. I kept cool by being slow and off the pace."
"It is what it is...I'm not too worried"
Kiss was full of sympathy for teammate Muhammed Patel and when asked how Patel's disconnection could affect the championship, he said was still confident his team could do the job.
"I'm not too worried, because I finally managed to get a podium result and we still have a comfortable lead both in the Drivers' and Constructors' standings."
On the last lap, Kiss managed to get on the back of Michi Hoyer after Hoyer had made a mistake earlier in the lap. However, Kiss said he didn't have enough time to make a move stick.
He added: "I was only able to battle [Hoyer] in the last lap when he made a mistake at Chapel. Until then, I was just following him the same way as I did since the second stint. Both [Michael] Francesconi and I couldn't overtake him and were just being held up because it's impossible to follow the car in front in fast corners. Therefore you won't see any battles. Obviously I wasn't happy because I felt a lot faster than him, but it is what it is. You can't overtake if you're on the same strategy as the guy in front, you'll just follow him unless he makes a big mistake."
Kiss currently lies in fourth place in the Drivers' Standings and Musto Racing still lead the Constructors' Championship. Although Kiss admitted that he was surprised to be in fourth place.
"This season has been going dreadfully for me, I need to do better in Qualifying, because overtaking is almost impossible with this mod. Track position means everything this year. Half of the races this year I was stuck behind a slower driver in the race and therefore couldn't deliver the results that I'm expecting from myself. I'm surprised that I'm P4 in the standings with such a bad season so far."
On a positive, when he was asked if we could expect to see him on the top step of the podium this season, he said: "Hopefully, yes."
López: "I know I can win races"
Fran López is confident of his season ahead, despite his retirement due to an engine failure at Silverstone. The retirement took him out of the battle for the lead, but the Invictus Motorsport driver said that he wasn’t to surprised about his retirement.
He said: “The engine failure didn't feel that bad, as I knew there was a big chance that it could happen, and there was nothing I could do about it."
"I've already set getting three wins as my target for this season."
“Despite not finishing the race, I have learnt that my pace is good enough to win a race, so it will happen sooner or later, that's what I'm aiming for, and I have to be happy about it."
López said that his engine troubles started very early on in the race.
“I realised the engine temperature would be a problem around lap 5. When I was on the grid waiting for the lights to go off, the car started smoking. That happens some times, so I didn't think that much about it. However, a few laps later the engine began smoking once more in sector 2. From that moment I tried to take care of it, short shifting and lifting in some corners when the temperature was too high.
"I think [Gosbee and I] would have had to fight wheel to wheel for the win.”
López also praised his strategy but rued the chance of battling for the lead.
“The strategy was good, yes, and my direct rivals had the same one in mind. However, they decided to go for primes in the second stint in order to make an overcut against me, after my second pitstop. My second stint with options wasn't as good as the first one, and that could have compromised my chances to win, but when my engine gave up, [Martin] Gosbee didn't have a big enough gap to come out of the pits ahead of me. I was already matching my best laptimes from the first stint, so I think we would have had to fight wheel to wheel for the win.”
Despite having scored no points so far this season, López is positive and still has high expectations for the season.
“I think that in Canada, I proved to myself that I was ready to score some good points throughout the rest of the season."
López also expects some wins to be just around the corner.
“Silverstone made me realise that I'm able to be on the podium too, or even on the top step, so I've already set getting three wins as my target for this season. It may sound like it's too much for me, but I'm sure it'll be possible with hard work and some help from the guys around me, especially my engineer Luke.”
When asked where he and his team expect to finish in the championship, he teased me with his answer.
“Maybe I’ll answer that question in our next interview. Soon, you'll see why!”
You can read the race review for Great Britain here.
Full Drivers' and Constructors' standings can be found here.
The next race is at the Hockenheimring on June 3.
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Written by Kieran McGinley