WTCR Race of Bahrain Race 2 press conference

WTCR Race of Bahrain Race 2 press conference

12.11.2022: 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: Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), First position Esteban Guerrieri (ALL-INKL.C




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:

Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), First position
Esteban Guerrieri (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport),  Second position
Nicky Catsburg (BRC Hyundai N Racing Team), Third position





Norbi, you were on fire this weekend! A nice way to round off what was a very solid day yesterday as well.



Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), First position


Yes, it’s just amazing, fantastic. It feels a bit like a dream, especially after the tough season so far. I have to say that at certain circuits you have this. The circuit was coming to me, I was feeling confident from the first moment and we managed to improve the car and obvoiously in qualifying I felt it was going to be good. Of course you can always have difficulties in the races, get involved in accidents especially after the start, but I tried to do clever races yesterday and today.


Fortunately I had a good start again today and managed to overtake one or two cars. Then I think I got lucky in Turn 4 because there was an accident and then I was right behind Esteban. At the time to be honest I knew tha I probably had the pace to follow him. Of course with these temperatures following another car is never easy, Esteban had really good pace. He was pushing but I tried to wait for my time and tried to surprise him because I felt my tyres were starting to go off, and fortunately it worked out.


Again I don’t want to say it was easy, but I had a fantastic car today which was helping me to execute the moves so in the end I’m very, very happy for myself. I feel tha I deserved it to be honest and I am very happy it worked out. Happy for the team of course, again important points for the teams’ championship and the drivers’, so it cannot be much better than this.





A different world on the track in terms of temperatures compared to yesterday’s night race.



Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), First position


Yes, it was a lot different. Yesterday was a bit easier. As a driver you had a bigger margin to push. Today if you were a bit too greedy you overdid the tyres. In that point it’s very difficult to come back with the temperatures, so like I said I tried to be clever.


Of course when you are fighting for P1 it’s a big tricky not to be too greedy sometimes following Esteban. But like I said I tried to be tactical and very happy with the result.






And your thoughts now ahead of Jeddah.



Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), First position



It is very difficult to judge. I don’t have a clue about the circuit. I was watching some Formula One races but as far as I know it will be a slightly different layout for us. No clue. Usually street circuits are good for us. I really like them, but Jeddah will be a completely new challenge.


So we can be in front, we can be around the back of the grid, in the middle – I really don’t know. I will do my best. My feeling is we can be competitive. If it’s enough to do a weekend like we did now I’m not sure about that but it’s looking good anyway.








Esteban, great start but it looked like you were a sitting duck with Norbi. You worked your socks off through that race.


Esteban Guerrieri (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport),  Second position



Yes. First congrats to Norbi and also Nicky. It was a very good race. The start was key because yesterday we didn’t have a great start and it’s so tight at the first corner that if you are like catching up to the first corner it’s hard, so it’s better always to make a good start, even more at this track. I managed to do a run around the outside, very late braking and on the outside it worked well.


Since then, after lap one I saw a Hyundai behind me so okay, it will be tough. I had a lot more confidence in the car than yesterday. It was surprisingly good for me, the pace. More confidence in the brakes mostly. I also played tactically, like Norbi said, there was a lot of heat in the track, in the car, you could overdo it easily. I knew he was catching up but with dirty air it was going to be hard for him.


It was obviously going to be harder for me because we knew they had a better car, a better pace this weekend. But fair enough for him, he surprised me completely into the braking. It was a very fair move. I didn’t let him by, he just surprised me. I should have braked in the middle of the track or something, but very good move from Norbi. Since then I tried to do something else in the next few corners, but once you get behind a car you lose a bit of downforce and that’s it.



So I’m happy anyway to be back here in the press conference, on the podium. We deserved the podium for all the guys on the team and let’s try to finish the season on a high. I really want to again get good points, which wasn’t happening in the last few events. So I’m happy for myself, for the team, for my family, everybody.





Coming into this weekend you didn’t have such high expectations due to the nature of the circuit for the Honda, but it sounds like it has surprised you. Knowing how different the circuit is in Jeddah, what are your thoughts now?


Esteban Guerrieri (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport),  Second position



Obviously here we were not the fastest but obviously it was there for the challenge. And in Jeddah we are again going to be heavy with the compensation weight. That’s no surprise because we knew that. But let’s see.


It’s a short track, let’s see how hot it is, how dirty the track is in the beginning and how it evolves during the weekend. I don’t know. To be honest I have to be learning while going. So let’s go and give it everything.







Nicky, good to see you on the podium. It was a fun race to watch and you drove very nicely.




Nicky Catsburg (BRC Hyundai N Racing Team), Third position


Yeah, it was definitely nice for me to watch them as well. First of all Norbi, fantastic result for him. He’s been unbeatable this weekend, I get to experience him within the team and honestly for me, also in 2019, he’s been the benchmark.

So it’s pretty cool to come in and kind of try and learn from him, because some of the stuff he does is really unbelievably good. No, we are always joking, but his pace I struggled to keep up, so it’s nice to come here and have one of the best drivers in the team to try and match yourself to that. So big hats off to him, he had a fantastic race, a fantastic weekend.


For me, super-nice to be on the podium in my firs event back in the series for a few years. Super-nice, very happy for the team, for BRC, for Hyundai, for Mikel of course who has a massive lead now. So really looking forward to Jeddah and what we can do there.





How well do you know Jeddah? I guess not so well.


Nicky Catsburg (BRC Hyundai N Racing Team), Third position



No, I only know it from watching Formula One. It looks awesome but I have never been there. I do believe the track will suit me a bit better than this one, so hopefully there I can be in his [Norbi’s] spot right now.






What is it about that track that should suit you as a driver?



Nicky Catsburg (BRC Hyundai N Racing Team), Third position


I think a bit more flowing, I usually struggle a bit with these slow corners and we have a lot of them, low gear, and it’s so difficult in a front-wheel-drive car.

You are turning and accelerating with the same axle and I always struggle much more compared to Norbi. So hopefully on that track with a little bit more flowing nature I will be a bit more competitive.






 Richard Rodgers, photo WTCR
 

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/wtcr-race-bahrain-2-press-conference---245091.html

12.11.2022 / MaP

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