Q&A with Tiago Monteiro

Q&A with Tiago Monteiro

15 August 2006 – Tiago Monteiro is showing a steady performance this season. At the last race in Hungary, he had a good fight with team mate Christijan Albers and finished in ninth position - his best finish of the season. Time to catch up with Monteiro.

For the last few races, you and Christijan have been contenders for the top 16 in qualifying, and you made it through again in Hungary. Have you been impressed by the consistent improvement in performance?
TM: "Definitely. The last five or six races have been an improvement, and you can see that by the fact that we are always fighting for the top 16. When we don't make it, we're only two or three tenths away from it, and we're much closer to pole than we've ever been. It's very encouraging and very motivating for everyone - the drivers and the team. I'm pretty happy with that."

At the start of the year, there seemed to be some problems that made it hard to have a clean qualifying session…
TM: "True, but that's part of the game. When we started the season, we were three or four seconds off pole, like last year, and to be honest, we were not happy at all. We had high expectations for the M16 and we were really hoping to be closer to our opposition at the beginning of the season, right out of the gate. But the fact is that we didn't test that much early in the year, so most of the testing we did took place on race weekends. That's a lot of development time to overcome, but we're catching up."

You also had some niggling failures in races, which must have been very frustrating.

TM: "It was for me, especially, since I wasn't used to technical problems after last year, when we were one of the most reliable teams! In 2005, we basically ran a 2004 Jordan chassis, so it was therefore a very reliable, mechanically-sorted car that everybody knew very well. This year, we have a brand-new car that's more competitive, but that also means it's a little bit more fragile. These cars are pushed to the limits, and it's normal in F1 to have problems. What wasn't normal was to not have problems, like last year! So we weren't used to having these kinds of problems. Anyway, apart from the mechanical issues - which seem to be more or less under control - we are still not performing as well in races as we are in qualifying. So we need to find out what the others are doing differently than us to give them the extra race pace that we can't seem to be able to maintain. We're working on that, believe me."

What's been the highlight for you this season, or do you think it's still to come?
TM: "It's still to come, definitely. To get into the top 16 is important, and we've done it a few times this year. But my feeling is that a proper highlight is still to come."

What about disappointments? There have been a few first lap dramas…
TM: "I guess Monaco was disappointing, because I think it was a race where we could have done something, especially when you look at the results. I'd been in the top 10 or 15 all weekend, so it was supposed to have been the first race where we were going to be in the top 16, and it should have been. But in qualifying, Barrichello blocked me on my flying lap, and then in the race, well, we all know what happened. Unfortunately, it was the kind of race where you needed to be there at the end, because points were on offer. So that was a big disappointment. The other one, I would say, was having two retirements in a row, in Indy and Magny-Cours. That's definitely not normal for me."

You and Christijan are always going to be lining up on the same part of the grid, which increases the chances of both of you being involved if something happens…

TM: "That's exactly the point. We are in identical cars, fighting at a similar level, so we we're always close to each other on the track. And we're both competitive, we both want to win, so there's always going to be some risk. It's part of the game, because we are fighting side by side. If I am always sitting next to Raikkonen or whoever, the chances of us coming together are going to be higher. In Monaco, I think Chris made a mistake, but I understand how it could have happened. I can also accept responsibility for my role in the collision in Canada. OK, we're on the same team, so we should be helping each other finish races - everyone understands that. But at the end of the day, we're also fighting each other for position, and that has to be taken into account."

Is it good to have a quick team mate to push you?

TM: "Yes, I think so. Last year, Narain often had amazing pace but sometimes he was a bit too erratic and not as consistent, unfortunately. I don't know if Christijan is as quick as Narain over one lap, but he is a lot more consistent. He hardly ever makes mistakes, and he is a very solid driver. So we are pushing each other a lot, and that's good for us and it's good for the team. One of the reasons the team is progressing so much is that there's not one session where my focus can be less than 110%, and it's the same for him. Every time we're out on track, we're always pushing hard. And off track, we're putting in the effort, as well, and not only with regard to physical fitness. I think I'm spending more time than ever with my engineers, because I'm paying attention to all the details. Everything on the car is important, from the tiniest little part to the smallest adjustment - it's amazing. I guess that is what sets F1 apart as the top form of motorsport. I've still got a lot to learn on that side, but I'm getting better at giving feedback and interpreting how everything affects the car."

If Ferrari's form is anything to go by, Bridgestone has clearly been strong recently. Has that been a big help?
TM: "Yes, absolutely. So much of our success depends on the tyre choice we make for each track, so it's very important to get it right. Because of production schedules and lead times, we have to choose them very early, so it's always a bit of a gamble. But luckily, we've been making some good choices at the last few races. Let's hope that trend continues for the rest of the season and helps us score a few points before we're done."

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Thursday 30 June 2016

  2. 19:03

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday at Spielberg

    F1
  3. Ferrari presents updated halo device 19:01

    Ferrari presents updated halo device

    Ferrari has publicly debuted an updated version of its 'halo' device, as Formula 1 inches closer to introducing increased…

    F1
  4. Sainz Jr. sure top team chance will come 17:08

    Sainz Jr. sure top team chance will come

    Carlos Sainz Jr. is adamant that an opportunity with a leading Formula 1 team will come, following confirmation that he will…

    F1
  5. Alonso: Busy period will test McLaren 16:50

    Alonso: Busy period will test McLaren

    Fernando Alonso says the upcoming busy period in the Formula 1 calendar will provide an all-round test of the competitiveness of…

    F1
  6. Lowes 'astonished' by Aprilia test debut 16:37

    Lowes 'astonished' by Aprilia test debut

    Sam Lowes says he was left "astonished" by his first experience of MotoGP machinery as he tested Aprilia's RS-GP during a…

    MotoGP
  7. Ricciardo confirms Red Bull 2018 deal 14:29

    Ricciardo confirms Red Bull 2018 deal

    Daniel Ricciardo has formally confirmed that he will remain with Red Bull until at least the end of 2018, after Team Principal…

    F1
  8. Bottas eyes Williams podium challenge 14:05

    Bottas eyes Williams podium challenge

    Valtteri Bottas is confident that Williams can challenge for the podium positions at the Austrian Grand Prix as it bids to…

    F1
  9. Ericsson: Sauber outlook more positive 13:59

    Ericsson: Sauber outlook more positive

    Marcus Ericsson believes the outlook for Sauber is more positive, having negotiated "the most difficult part" of a troublesome…

    F1
  10. Haryanto still unclear over F1 future 13:50

    Haryanto still unclear over F1 future

    Rio Haryanto says he is still uncertain whether he will finish the current Formula 1 campaign with Manor but understands that…

    F1
  11. Haas opts to switch focus to 2017 car 12:24

    Haas opts to switch focus to 2017 car

    Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner says that the rookie outfit has now switched the majority of its focus to developing its…

    F1
  12. Video: Formula 1 driver eye-tracking 12:08

    Video: Formula 1 driver eye-tracking

    Explore the skills and reaction times of Nico Hülkenberg as he wears special eye-tracking glasses.

    F1
  13. Pérez not distracted by Ferrari rumours 12:03

    Pérez not distracted by Ferrari rumours

    Force India driver Sergio Pérez insists he will not become distracted across a busy period of four races in five weekends as…

    F1
  14. IndyCar linked with Surfers Paradise return 08:40

    IndyCar linked with Surfers Paradise return

    IndyCar has been linked with a potential return to Surfers Paradise in Australia, eight years after the US-based category last…

    Indy
  15. Mick Schumacher will not 'rush' career 07:42

    Mick Schumacher will not 'rush' career

    Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael, says that he will not be "rushed" as he attempts to…

    F1
  16. Video of the Day: Ferrari on Austrian GP 05:36

    Video of the Day: Ferrari on Austrian GP

    Ferrari looks ahead to the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring with performance engineer Jock Clear.

    F1
  17. Wednesday 29 June 2016

  18. 17:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  19. Sainz Jr. to stay at Toro Rosso in 2017 15:50

    Sainz Jr. to stay at Toro Rosso in 2017

    Carlos Sainz Jr. will remain at Toro Rosso in 2017, for what will be a third successive campaign, Red Bull team boss Christian…

    F1
  20. Video: Vettel's Austrian Grand Prix guide 15:44

    Video: Vettel's Austrian Grand Prix guide

    Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel looks ahead to this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring.

    F1
  21. Lauda: Halo could threaten F1's DNA 15:32

    Lauda: Halo could threaten F1's DNA

    Triple Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda reckons the sport's DNA could be threatened by its ongoing safety drive, which…

    F1
  22. Stoner makes Ducati MotoGP test return 13:03

    Stoner makes Ducati MotoGP test return

    Casey Stoner has returned to action for Ducati during this week's private MotoGP running at the Misano circuit, marking his…

    MotoGP
  23. Various track changes at Red Bull Ring 12:36

    Various track changes at Red Bull Ring

    Various track changes have been made at the Red Bull Ring ahead of this year's Austrian Grand Prix, with extra run-off areas and…

    F1
  24. Video: Brawn BGP 001 back in action 12:02

    Video: Brawn BGP 001 back in action

    Watch as Martin Brundle drives Jenson Button's 2009 title-winning Brawn-Mercedes BGP 001 at Goodwood.

    F1
  25. Räikkönen told to prove he 'deserves' seat 10:35

    Räikkönen told to prove he 'deserves' seat

    Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne has told Kimi Räikkönen he must prove that he "deserves" a contract extension by…

    F1
  26. Binder takes Matsushita's seat for Austria 08:23

    Binder takes Matsushita's seat for Austria

    René Binder will replace the banned Nobuharu Matsushita at ART Grand Prix for this weekend's GP2 round in his home country of…

    GP2
  27.  Preview: Austrian Grand Prix - Round 9 07:26

    Preview: Austrian Grand Prix - Round 9

    Formula 1 teams head to Spielberg, Austria for the first of four Grands Prix in just five weekends, as part of a particularly…

    F1
  28. Video of the Day: Perfect F1 pit-stop 05:28

    Video of the Day: Perfect F1 pit-stop

    Go behind-the-scenes at the McLaren Technology Centre to discover what goes into a perfect pit-stop.

    F1
  29. Tuesday 28 June 2016

  30. 16:35

    F1 photos: Hockenheim media event

    F1
  31. In photos: Austria and its F1 drivers 15:42

    In photos: Austria and its F1 drivers

    Austria and the Red Bull Ring play host to Formula 1 this weekend, but there is no home racer for the local crowd to support. It…

    F1
  32. Aguri to leave FE after selling licence 14:37

    Aguri to leave FE after selling licence

    Team Aguri has announced that it has agreed the sale of its Formula E licence to new investors, meaning this weekend's season…

    FE
  33. Williams confident over Austria chances 14:12

    Williams confident over Austria chances

    Pat Symonds is confident that Williams will deliver another strong Austrian Grand Prix performance, though remains wary of…

    F1
  34. Mallya targets more podium finishes 12:32

    Mallya targets more podium finishes

    Force India team boss Vijay Mallya has set his sights on achieving further podium finishes over the course of the 2016 campaign…

    F1
  35. Pirelli reveals British GP tyre selections 11:08

    Pirelli reveals British GP tyre selections

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has revealed the team-by-team tyre compound selections for the British Grand Prix, with the Soft…

    F1
  36. Video: IndyCar Road America highlights 11:04

    Video: IndyCar Road America highlights

    Watch highlights of last weekend's Kohler Grand Prix at Road America, won by Penske driver Will Power.

    Indy
  37. Rosberg set for new two-year deal 10:22

    Rosberg set for new two-year deal

    Nico Rosberg is close to signing a two-year contract extension to remain at Mercedes, with only small "details" to be finalised…

    F1
  38. Steiner: Haas will get on top of tyre woes 10:12

    Steiner: Haas will get on top of tyre woes

    Haas team boss Guenther Steiner is adamant that the outfit will eventually get on top of its tyre-related struggles, linking…

    F1
  39. Hernández left to rue lost victory chance 09:22

    Hernández left to rue lost victory chance

    Aspar rider Yonny Hernández was left to rue a lost victory chance as he crashed out of the lead during last weekend's Dutch TT…

    MotoGP
  40. Ecclestone to look at 'more equal' payments 07:46

    Ecclestone to look at 'more equal' payments

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says that he will be looking into how prize money is split and handed out within the sport…

    F1
  41. Video of the Day: Ferrari at Goodwood 05:18

    Video of the Day: Ferrari at Goodwood

    Ferrari presents highlights of its time at the 2016 edition of the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed.

    F1
  42. Monday 27 June 2016

  43. Wolff: Mercedes' competition 'growing' 16:32

    Wolff: Mercedes' competition 'growing'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has urged the squad to cut out mistakes at upcoming Grands Prix to deal with "growing" competition from…

    F1
  44. McLaren focused on reliability, points return 15:12

    McLaren focused on reliability, points return

    McLaren-Honda's focus at the Austrian Grand Prix will be on improved reliability and a return to the points-paying positions…

    F1
more news