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WTCR - Race of Russia post-Qualifying virtual press conference


FIA WTCR - 2021 WTCR Race of Russia - Post-Qualifying virtual press conference transcript 

Mikel Azcona, Néstor Girolami, Kirill Ladygin and Yvan Muller attended the virtual press conference following Qualifying at WTCR VTB Race of Russia.In attendance:Yvan Muller (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co), pole positionMikel Azcona (Zengo Motorsport), second positionNéstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), third positionKirill Ladygin (ROSNEFT LADA Sport)Q:Yvan, what a lap in very tricky qualifying conditions, even in terms of when in Q3 you would run. Talk us behind the strategyYM:Yeah, that was a good lap, but when I started my lap I had a doubt because in Q2 I struggled to do a good lap. I was quick in Q1. Q2, I had to stop to change tyres and go again, and I just came in the top five at the last second. I drove as best I could. I did a small set of changes before the Q3 which helped me a lot and then I drove without mistakes and that made a good lap.Q:A brilliant position for your team-mate and nephew Yann Ehrlacher to be in, but also for the teams’ championship as well.YM:Yeah, absolutely. That’s the main goal and we always say that is the case: the main goal is to win the teams’ championship first before anything else. But we took a lot of points already today about this and then we have to confirm. I also hope we can confirm the drivers’ title for Yann. And if there is something else, if I can finish in the top three of the drivers’ championship it would be nice. That would be the 16th time in a row, which would be not bad.Q:A nice stat! A question from Erik Rasulev from Match TV. How physically challenging is the Sochi track for you drivers? After the first practice we saw a few of you even needed medical help after the session. Is it because of curves and fast F1 corners that cause so much g-force and how are the cars reacting to these conditions?YM:Honestly, I have no idea. I try to stay away from everybody, I still keep the distance, which many people forget to do. But the track is nice. Of course it’s fantastic. It was a great session in FP1 because conditions were dry and it was a pleasure to drive on it. Unfortunately it was wet in FP2 and quallie. Then let’s see tomorrow how it is. But I hope it will be dry because it is great to have fast corners like this. I don’t think it is the case, it is not because of the circuit that they are sick.Q:Mikel, what a lap for you too. When we spoke during FP1 you didn’t even get to finish because you were having terrible problems. So talk us through your qualifying.MA:It was not my best start of the day. We had some technical issues in the first free practice, which I didn’t have much experience of the track. It’s a new track for me, almost for everyone. So luckily in free practice two we went for wet conditions and in qualifying I really like these conditions when it’s wet and it’s changing conditions. I tried to do everything, the car was working really good in those conditions. It’s true that in dry conditions we are struggling a little bit compared to the other cars. For me it was really good, these wet conditions. During qualifying, Q1, Q2 and Q3 we were trying to improve the car. We did some changes and also the car was improving, which I’m really happy about. I feel really good after a bad start to the day. Still tomorrow there are two races for the final races and I really want to be battling for the podium positions and why not the victories? I am coming from two very difficult weekends, so for me it’s everything.Q:Bebu, it looked like when you started that lap you weren’t going to pull it out of the bag. But the last sectors you really did. It was tricky conditions out there, wasn’t it?NG:Yeah. Hello everybody. First of all I would like to send all positive thoughts and energy to Marcela Bertolisi who was working for Eurosport Events. She died two weeks ago. She was always smiling and I will remember her always like that. So all my positive thoughts to her family. Regarding the day, it was quite complicated for us. We knew in this situation with this long straight our performance is not so good, so free practice one we were far away, then in free practice two with damp conditions we started to pick up the pace and started to fight for the top 10. And Q1 was not an easy shot for me, I just passed in P12. To be honest the track changed a lot from FP2 to qualifying, so we were doing some changes from Q1 to Q2 and this made the car much better and I understood how to drive faster, take that opportunity to be in Q3. That was the main target, to be in front of Esteban’s rivals who are Vervisch and Ehrlacher. So tomorrow we have a very good starting position to at least fight for both titles. I think in the teams’ title we are far away, but Esteban is still fighting for the drivers’ championship, so full focus on tomorrow. I will do my best, trying to help him as much as possible.Q:Kirill, how was it being in the WTCR today?KL:It was really nice! For us it is very difficult to find a good set-up and not go the wrong way. We don’t know these tyres very well. But tomorrow is another day. We will see