WTCR Race of Alsace GrandEst Race 1 press conference

WTCR Race of Alsace GrandEst Race 1 press conference

07.08.2022: WTCR Race of Alsace GrandEst, Circuit l’Anneau du Rhin, August 5-7, 2022 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup, Rounds 13 and 14 of 20 Press Conference Room, Circuit l’Anneau du Rhin, August 7 In attendance: Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team A

WTCR Race of Alsace GrandEst, Circuit l’Anneau du Rhin, August 5-7, 2022
WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup, Rounds 13 and 14 of 20
Press Conference Room, Circuit l’Anneau du Rhin, August 7

 

In attendance:
Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport), winner, Race 1
Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), second position, Race 1
Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), third position, Race 1



Nathanaël, take us through the race.



Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport), winner, Race 1


We were lucky enough to have the speed on the straight because here it’s so difficult to overtake. Bebu [Néstor Girolami] did an incredible job so it was not easy to keep him behind, but it’s so good to win here in France. It’s been a long time so it’s good.





How hard was it to manage the tyres in that race?




Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport), winner, Race 1


Very hard. I was managing since lap 1 I would say. I had a vibration with three laps to go. I was terrified of losing a win again. I’ve already lost a podium and a fourth position twice… A lot of points have gone for that reason and this time it would have been a victory. It would have been a disaster. Finally, the victory is home. I’m very happy, but it was very stressful.







You said yesterday that the Audi didn’t suit this track. You and Gilles have proven us wrong today. What changes did you make overnight?




Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport), winner, Race 1


We worked a lot. We are a very good, very well-connected team and we work well together. The drivers, engineers, team manager… we’re always trying different stuff. We are four cars so we are going faster, for example, than Hyundai who have only two. Also we lost the 40kg [compensation weight] this weekend, so that helped.



We are lucky there is a long straight here because the start was good, I could use the tow [from Girolami], we touched a little bit, but I was faster in the straight and I could manage the first corner easily. Then I saw the fighting behind, I could manage things a bit more and it’s super to get the victory.






You start Race 2 from ninth position. What will your strategy be?




Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport), winner, Race 1


Full attack again. Not sure about the strategy. We’ll discuss that as a team, but for sure we will attack as much as possible and score as many points as we can.





Bebu, take us through this race. You started from pole. Then what happened?




Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), second position, Race 1

First of all congratulations to Nat and Gilles. They did a very good job today and were very quick on the straight. For me it was all about doing a good job at the start. I expected that Nat would come so from the outside I tried to break his speed but while leaving a margin.


He overtook me very well and from there on I had to try to defend myself from Azcona. He raced hard but with respect. We had to go side-by-side through Turn 1, which is not easy, while trying to defend until the middle of the race. Then I saw Azcona had lost the position to Gilles so I said ‘okay, I have to pray that Nat is not pulling away because I needed his tow to stay in second position.


Without that it would have been very difficult to defend. Gilles tried everything. I was being a bit careful because I was told he was really pushing a lot – even with my team-mate. I had some hard moments with him, but always with respect and fair play.



That’s very important. Thank you to my team for giving me an amazing car. We proved that over one lap we are very good but for race pace – especially with the straights – that we still have some work to do. We’ll go into Race 2 with these difficulties on the straights.





Did you have any issues managing your tyres?


Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), second position, Race 1


Of course I had some degradation, but this is normal. I didn’t feel any kind of issue. In this regard we’re always quite good. Even in Vallelunga we managed that and didn’t have any issues.





Gilles, fifth to third. What an attack. Take us through it.




Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), third position, Race 1


It was a nice race for the fans, which I’m happy about. Congratulations to the guys next to me. Congratulations to Nat. It’s a team victory so that’s always cool. I had to be aggressive today. We’re quite far behind in the points so we have nothing to lose. So we needed to take some risks. Sometimes, like today, it pays off. First and third for the team… Not bad.




You were very aggressive. What do you think you were missing to pass Bebu?



Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), third position, Race 1



Two more kph in a straight line. I was just coming short when he was moving over to defend on the inside line. I needed a better exit from the last corner. Maybe if the race had been a little longer I’d have had my opportunity. But I’m happy with my third place and we’ll see what we can do in Race 2 now.







Nath, they [your team] were telling you to slow down in the chicane.




Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport), winner, Race 1




You heard that?




Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport), winner, Race 1


Yes on the radio.

It was tyre management.




Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), second position, Race 1


They must have heard me. I was praying ‘slow down in the chicane. I need a tow on the straights.’ Maybe they heard me.





We heard on the radio your engineer asking you to slow down at the chicane. What was that about?



Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport), winner, Race 1

We are working as a team. For me it’s more important to see an Audi in front so I knew I had to help Gilles to get on the podium. I did my best. Sorry for Bebu because I know it’s annoying for him. But it’s also part of the game. I’m a team player so I did it without question. It’s always annoying when you have a car in front. You risk your victory by doing that. It was not easy to do, but I knew I had good speed on the straight.





We heard the message telling you ‘he can’t overtake you on the straight’.



Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport), winner, Race 1


We knew it. And after the chicane from mid-race he tried to be on the right. He was very close and I knew that if he dived in there would be no room and I’d go out. I didn’t want to risk my victory, so I was doing just enough not to be unfair, but also to help Gilles and Audi.






Gilles, you start sixth for Race 2. It’s going to be interesting…



Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), third position, Race 1



Yes I think so. Now the guys in front are slightly slower with the reversed grid, so it might create more opportunities. We have an Audi starting on pole – my team-mate Mehdi [Bennani] so maybe this might create more opportunities.




 Richard Rodgers, photos WTCR
    

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/wtcr-race-alsace-grandest-race1-press-conference---241092.html

07.08.2022 / MaP

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