Esteban Guerrieri, Tiago Monteiro and Néstor Girolami attended the Race 3 virtual press conference at WTCR Race of Hungary. This is what they had to say.
Esteban, your third win of the season and second of the day, but it wasn’t easy despite having your battalion of Hondas around you.
Definitely very happy with the win. First of all thank you to my team-mates but also friends beside me for this big help for the points, for the result. I’m so happy to share the podium with them. Regarding the race, now I can look back, I remember in Race 2 I went on the grass because there was a mess in the second corner and since then I could kind of sense something small, but actually then Tiago told me there was something vibrating when he was behind me in Race 2, but the cars were in parc fermé so there was no chance to take a look at it in depth. So to the mechanics I insisted when I did the formation laps that something was wrong and I had some issue when I was braking. They checked the floor and splitter and everything looked OK, but it was getting worse and worse when I was gaining speed. Then from lap one [of Race 3] onwards it started to break completely. It was the cover of the wheel arch at the top, that part started to disintegrate and also the splitter started to move because there was no support there. It was really difficult to brake, I had no acceleration, obviously the aero balance was completely disturbed, so it was hard. The car was a little bit all over the place. But they supported me so well, I could push as hard as I could, not defending of course which was great, otherwise I would have been much slower. And we managed to stop the other guys behind get a big opportunity. Néstor, he was the one who was basically defending for the podium. So again, really happy for this, thanks to the boys and also to the mechanics who did a really great job. And Attila, who is not here. A great job by the whole ALL-INKL team and Honda of course.
Tiago, amazing protecting work. What was the reason behind not swapping you and ‘Bebu’ at the end?
Well, first of all congratulations to Esteban, Bebu and Attila as well. I think the whole team was brilliant this weekend, the teamwork was really how it should be and I’m very proud of that, to be honest. There are some rules and we tried to clarify the rules as much as possible. A victory is always a victory, and is quite sacred and a podium is also quite important. So unless there is a special, special reason… in that case it was decided we wouldn’t swap for a podium position. So I think that’s what happened. Of course, we are thinking about the teams’ championship and the drivers’ championship, but I guess that the team decided that third place for Néstor was good enough to recover some places and the difference between second and third was not that big. So from a personal side, of course I glad of that. I did a good start, took the position from Attila and then I was following the rhythm of Esteban. He was in trouble, as he said, and our goal was to protect him, and we could see the other competitors coming strong behind Néstor, so it was a matter of keeping a good rhythm without pushing too hard, but not too slow. A big congratulations to the team, the mechanics did a brilliant job, really they were under pressure between every race. There was quite a lot of work, it was a pretty eventful race with quite a lot of contact, so there was a lot of work during the parc fermé. Now you see how people work under pressure, under stress and it was beautiful to see.
Bebu, you have had a really difficult run up to now and it must feel good to be on the podium.
Yes, basically in Slovakia we had a big crash and basically here the contact in Race 2 was really difficult, especially for the mechanics. I am so proud of my team, the team did a fantastic job. This podium and this one-two-three I want to dedicate to them because in hard moments, in difficult situations they put in 100 per cent, or 110 per cent, to prepare my car. They deserve this. I apologise for my mistake again, I will try to be strong next time to be more smart in some situations. But nevertheless, we never give up, here we are, showing we are strong as a team and it was great to support Esteban, he did a great weekend. He deserved to be on pole and then winning two races was our maximum and I am so happy for the team.
Esteban, we move next to Aragón. How much experience do you all have of it and how do you think the car is going to be there?
I have to be honest, we have experience of Aragón but it was wet all the time, a bit mixed sometimes It was our first test with the Goodyears, the new tyres this year. It was quite useful, but I think it’s going to be difficult to be as competitive as the Lynk & Cos which are basically our main rivals from now until the end of the season. A bit more rain would be good, I would say. If not the compensation weight will be a little bit against us for Aragón. Let’s see. At the moment we haven’t sat down and thought about Aragón yet, but we will do for sure in the next days to plan our best strategy and try to extract our best potential. But as I say, it’s not going to be easy, so let’s try to make it the best possible.
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