WTCR Race of Bahrain post-Qualifying press conference

WTCR Race of Bahrain post-Qualifying press conference

11.11.2022: WTCR Race of Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit, November 10-12, 2022 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup, Rounds 15 and 16 of 18 In attendance: Mikel Azcona (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), First position NathanaŽl Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team A


WTCR Race of Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit, November 10-12, 2022
WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup, Rounds 15 and 16 of 18

In attendance:
Mikel Azcona (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), First position
Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport), Second position
Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), Third position





Mikel, not a bad lap. Talk us through it.


Mikel Azcona (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), First position



Well, it was a very good qualifying especially because we did a very good job as a team, working with the slipstream in Q1 and Q2. This track you have longer straights. So we were prearing in free practice for qualifying. The Q3 lap was perfect, I have to say.


No mistakes, I was very comfortable in the car. I knew the second sector was very strong from our side so I didn’t want to make any mistakes or push more than usually, so I’m very happy with the result. But keep working.





Norbi maybe gave you a bit of a helping hand in the last section, right?



Mikel Azcona (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), First position



Yeah, for sure. As a team, as I said, we are fantastic and we are now working for the Drivers’ standings and for the Teams’ standings. For sure we did perfect. We were 10 out of 10. Still two races to go. For sure there is a lot to go.


Mikel, you have an idea about the circuit now. What do you anticipate about the circuit change from this evening in Race 1 to tomorrow morning for Race 2?


Mikel Azcona (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), First position



It’s true from yesterday to today the track evolution was quite nice. It was improving the track after all the sessions from WEC. They were cleaning the track and you were able to feel it in Free Practice 2 and now probably not so much because of the heightened temperatures. So qualifying was in the worst moment of the day in terms of temperatures, we already saw in the lap times.


But I’m expecting the first race in the afternoon with no sun, with the rack conditions colder, better conditions for everybody I guess. But at the same time we should work on the car because you cannot go like in the morning because the track conditions will be different. I don’t know, I will tell you after the race. But it will not be easy for everybody for sure.




Nathanaël, nicely done. Your Q3 stats are very high, aren’t they?


Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport), Second position



Yeah. I just missed Portugal when I had a misunderstanding with my engineer. But we’re always in Q3. It’s good because this weekend we started really well in FP1 and in FP2, OK, we had a different programme to work but I was a bit surprised to lose this performance, and back in the game today.


So I’m happy. Of course I would have preferred to have pole position, I can’t lie. But those guys are really strong, almost unbeatable at least for this weekend. So one more quallie to go, hopefully I can have a pole position this year.





How tough will it be to start the race in the mix with this duo?



Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport), Second position


I have nothing to lose, guys! Of course I will fight hard to have another win. It will always be good racing, but I will not give a position.




Néstor, nicely done, you needed these points


Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), Third position

First of all, congratulations to Mikel and Nathanaël, they have done a fantastic job during the whole weekend so far. They showed they have very good strategy to arrive at this point with no ballast and unfortunately we are carrying 40kg. In those moments especially it is really complicated because the heat of the track is very high and it’s difficult to manage.


Anyway, from our side it was an amazing lap. I did my best lap in Q3 which is not easy sometimes because in Q3 you don’t have slipstream, you don’t have help and only one shot to do it. So I’m proud, I’m happy with the car. I congratulate the team because we have worked at the absolute maximum all weekend and we put together a pretty good lap. Now we have to focus on the race.





How hard is the race going to be, given the ballast and the weather conditions, plus the lighter folk around you?


Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), Third position



When we did the strategy more or less I wanted to compete for the first race because for sure the points are higher and for our car it is less aggressive to be racing in the night rather than tomorrow in the heat. So I tried to get the best lap possible to start on the front row.



Unfortunately Nathanaël did half a tenth faster than me. But still P3 is a good start and I think our package in the colder conditions is much better, so I’m looking forward to the race.





And Nathanaël has made it clear he is doing neither of you any favours…


Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), Third position

For sure not. We are fighting for the championship hard but always with respect. All three we are here for the same goal and we want to win this title even if we are far, we have nothing to lose. We have to recover this difference as much as we can and take all the risk.





And from a family perspective it’s great for your brother to be on the front row for Race 2.


Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), Third position


To be honest in qualifying I was so focused on myself I couldn’t see where he was. Now I realise he was P9 and first row for tomorrow I think it is very good news and he did a very good job so far. Competing with these guys is not easy, learning the track and everything. So yeah, happy for him.






 Richard Rodgers- photos WTCR

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11.11.2022 / MaP

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