WTCR - 2021 WTCR Race of Italy - Post-race virtual press conference | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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WTCR - 2021 WTCR Race of Italy - Post-race virtual press conference


FIA WTCR - 2021 WTCR Race of Italy - Post-race virtual press conference transcript

Yann Ehrlacher, Frédéric Vervisch, Gilles Magnus, Santiago Urrutia and Gabriele Tarquini attended the post-race virtual press conference at WTCR Race of Italy. A transcript follows.Press Conference Room, Adria International Raceway, November 7, 2021In attendance:Yann Ehrlacher (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co), first position, Race 2Frédéric Vervisch (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), second position, Race 2Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), third position, Race 2Santiago Urrutia (Cyan Performance Lynk & Co), first position, Race 1Gabriele Tarquini (BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse)LISTEN TO THE AUDIO: THE VIDEO:, nicely done, today has moved you up to P2 in the standings. You guys are really working well as a team.FV:Yeah, I think that’s the main thing of the weekend. As a team we did our best weekend so far. We worked really well together, I had big help from Gilles, so I have to thank him but as well from Tommy [Coronel] and Nathanaël [Berthon]. We had better pace than Pau, but we were fighting against a very strong competitor and they were just a bit better than us. So it’s hard but we are still in contention to do well and we are second and there is still one race and I hope at that race in Russia we will be flying like hell.Q:Have you raced at Sochi before?FV:No. I think it could be good. There are long straights, long corners, so I think this could be good for us. But again, we need to see. You never know, we need to wait for the compensation weight as well. But I think we can be good there or we should be good there, so let’s hope it will be like that.Q:Santi, winner of race one. A bad start, you lost the lead to Esteban Guerrieri, but at the end of lap one what a mega overtake that was.SU:Yeah, I knew already that the Hondas were better than us at the start. Basically Esteban did a better start than me and I was P2. Then I knew after two or three laps when the tyres came out I would not have the grip to overtake, so I had the chance and I went for it. Then leading the pack was, I would say, not easy because I had to push at the beginning but I could control the race. Finally I got the win so I was pretty happy and big points for the team as well. So it was a good race.Q:Your thoughts on the debacle between you and Esteban, who was very angrySU:I think it was a normal overtake. He was leading the race, but we are in touring cars and we see a lot worse overtaking than this. I just dived to the inside, he knew I was going for it, so he shouldn’t close the door. But I understand his position, I know what I did and he can think what he thinks. But at the end of the day I won the race. I believe the overtake was in a good position, a good move. Again, I’m happy we won the race. We started on pole and then Yann won race two starting from pole, so it was a strong weekend for the team.Q:What are your thoughts on Sochi? Have you ever raced there?SU:Yes, in 2014 but it means nothing, it was a long time ago in formula racing. I don’t know to be honest how we are going to be, our car is pretty much good wherever we go. But we are going to gain a little bit of compensation weight because we were on pole position here, so we’ll see. It’s the last round and everything is looking good, we just need to bring it home. I hope we can finish the job we have been doing the whole season.Q:Gilles, this has turned out to be a rather nice weekend for you after what were a tricky last two rounds. Congratulations on your WTCR Trophy title.GM:Yeah, thanks a lot. As you said, after a difficult period it’s good to be back here. First of all in Most not due to my mistake but a technical issue in qualifying, then at Pau due to my mistake going off in quallie. Starting last for four races in a row was definitely not the best thing, but I left that behind me and made a complete reset and here we are again. We are not fighting for the championship anymore, so my main role here is to help Fred and I think I’ve done that job today. So I’m happy for the team and I’m happy for myself. A positive day.Q:If feels like the Audi cohort has really come together in the last few rounds. Has it made you guys think about a different approach to next season perhaps?GM:It’s true we worked together better than the beginning of the season, although then we were also working together well. But we learned to work with each other and speaking the same language as Fred is, for example, an advantage. These kind of things help, for sure. But I’m happy with the teamwork we did. Let’s see in Sochi what Fred will be able to do. The pressure is on his shoulders, so I’ll just be a help!Q:What does the WTCR Trophy title win mean to you?GM:It’s good to have a title. We’ve really dominated this title and it’s something to put on my mantlepiece, so I’m really happy with this.Q:Yann, what a weekend this has turned out to be. That qualifying lap was world class and you much desverved to turn it into today’s win.YE:First of all, congrats to the gents next to me and thanks for what you just said. For sure the weekend started well with the pole position. The lap was good in Q1, the lap was very good in Q3. So I think the timing was quite all right to put that together now as we get closer to the end. Today after a difficult race one, but starting at the pack I expected that and didn’t want to take any risks. So I focused on race two. We have been struggling for a few weekends with the start, we’ve been doing really bad starts. Then the team worked to really late last night to provide us with a new system that we had to adapt to. After doing the same thing for three years we had to change and that was definitely not easy, on both the team’s side and for us. So definitely a big thanks to them because they saved us today. The getaway was good, I managed to take the lead at the start at T1 and then I played the symphony I had to do for a few laps and then we bring it home. I’m really pleased about that and I can’t thank the team enough to provide me with such a good car and to keep digging every single time we go out on track. I’m really pleased with the work we are doing all together.Q:I liked your radio message as you came over the line, saying ‘thank you for such an amazing car’.YE:You know, it’s important because we all work hard even though we’ve known the car fquite well or a few years. There are always things to which you need to adapt: a new track etc, so we have to do it quick with not a lot of information and feedback. When you get a car like this and you get a chance to be in such a good team you have to pay respect and thank everyone at the track. And there are people at the factory who are not coming that work on the project as well, so it was important.Q:You have one hand on the trophy sitting beside you, which is yours from last year too. Going into Sochi I know mathematically there are still six potential title winners, but you are obviously in a very good position. What do you know of Sochi and how do you feel about your chances?YE:To be honest, I don’t know much. I know it’s a track that has a long straight and that’s the main topic of that track. There are quick corners where our car is quite good and then there is the straight where we are a bit under the others. But to be honest we will just go there and see. I had the chance to be in this position last year as well, so I know a bit better than last year to deal with all the things going around. I feel quite confident and again, like this weekend I want to win races, I want to do pole positions, so I will think about the title in the five last laps of the last race.Q:Do you have to rein your brain in to keep control of that?YE:Yeah, but it’s not really difficult because I just want to do the best races as possible. Whatever it takes. I will not take all the risks, but my main target is to win races so I will go for it big time and we will count at the end.Q:Gabriele, I know it was a tough weekend up until that final race, but you were like a dog with a bone! That was a good race.GT:Yes, it was a good race. To be honest, I had a very good car. I must blame myself for the qualifying yesterday because I could have achieved a better result. I tried to do my best, I was quite lucky on the start at the second race, to avoid some accidents. But later on I had good pace, good moves and overtaking. It’s the minimum I could do for the crowd I had around me. People joined me from all Italy, the north and the south just to see my last race in Italy. I’m very proud of these people coming. Some are friends that come every single year at every single race, but 99% just came to say goodbye to me and that is something I will remember forever.Q:How much pressure did you put on your shoulders coming into this weekend?GT:Yesterday, probably, I wanted to do… for some reason yesterday we struggled in qualifying a lot and the car was not easy to drive. I made mistakes. Probably the pressure was the problem. But todau I had nothing to risk and I was in full attack. The first race was not easy because of some incidents at the start and when you are in the middle of the grid you always have problems in the first few laps. That’s normal. But in the second race I could show the pace and I’m very happy. I enjoyed it very much and also the people around were very happy.Q:I so wish we could have had a proper crowd here, it would have been incredible.GT:That’s the only thing. The normal crowd was not allowed in, so I could provide them with the proper passes. It was not easy also because Adria is in the middle of Italy, but far away from the big cities.Q:You’ll have to come back and do a ‘wildcard’ race when we can have the crowds back, just to have the tifosi.GT:Some of them told me they will come to Sochi as well, but it will be not easy!