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. Wednesday 3 September 2014

  2. Monza memories: Vettel boldly passes Alonso 05:04

    Monza memories: Vettel boldly passes Alonso

    Relive Sebastian Vettel's bold pass on Fernando Alonso during the 2011 Italian Grand Prix.

    F1
  3. Tuesday 2 September 2014

  4. Daly dropped by Lazarus ahead of Monza 19:07

    Daly dropped by Lazarus ahead of Monza

    Conor Daly has been dropped by the Lazarus team ahead of this weekend's GP2 round at Monza. Daly, 22, represented the...

    GP2
  5. Donington gets 2015 British MotoGP round 18:29

    Donington gets 2015 British MotoGP round

    Donington Park will stage MotoGP's British Grand Prix next season after the Leicestershire venue came to an agreement with...

    MotoGP
  6. Haas changes name of Formula 1 team 16:50

    Haas changes name of Formula 1 team

    Gene Haas has altered the name of his new Formula 1 team, which is set to join the grid in 2016. The American's squad,...

    F1
  7. Barbados to host 2014 Race Of Champions 15:34

    Barbados to host 2014 Race Of Champions

    The 2014 Race Of Champions will take place in Barbados, after the country overcame rival bidders. The Bushy Park Circuit...

    Misc
  8. Red Bull's Gasly joins Caterham GP2 team 15:16

    Red Bull's Gasly joins Caterham GP2 team

    Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly will contest the final three GP2 rounds of 2014 with Caterham Racing. The 18-year-old...

    GP2
  9. Ferrari open to Ross Brawn return 14:42

    Ferrari open to Ross Brawn return

    Ferrari's new Team Principal, Marco Mattiacci, has said that he would welcome back Ross Brawn, should the latter desire to...

    F1
  10. Video: Räikkönen puts on show in Rotterdam 13:28

    Video: Räikkönen puts on show in Rotterdam

    Look back at Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen's demo runs at the VKV City Racing event in Rotterdam.

    F1
  11. McLaren looks to consolidate fifth position 11:39

    McLaren looks to consolidate fifth position

    McLaren says its aim for the rest of the season is to secure fifth in the championship standings. The Woking-based team...

    F1
  12. Two DRS zones retained for Monza 10:41

    Two DRS zones retained for Monza

    The FIA has retained the traditional pair of DRS zones for this year's Italian Grand Prix. Since the introduction of the...

    F1
  13. Alonso insists he will stay at Ferrari 09:14

    Alonso insists he will stay at Ferrari

    Fernando Alonso insists that he has no intention to leave Ferrari at the end of the 2014 campaign. The Italian marque,...

    F1
  14. Sochi grandstand named in Kvyat's honour 08:23

    Sochi grandstand named in Kvyat's honour

    Russian Grand Prix organisers have named a grandstand at Sochi Autodrom in Daniil Kvyat's honour. The grandstand in...

    F1
  15. Honda open to customer teams from 2016 07:12

    Honda open to customer teams from 2016

    Honda says it would be open to supplying customer teams in Formula 1 from the 2016 campaign, having clarified that its power...

    F1
  16. Monza memories: Closest Formula 1 finish 05:07

    Monza memories: Closest Formula 1 finish

    Relive the closest finish in Formula 1 history at the 1971 Italian Grand Prix. Peter Gethin took the chequered flag first,...

    F1
  17. Monday 1 September 2014

  18. Video: Ronaldo, Button go for a spin 18:57

    Video: Ronaldo, Button go for a spin

    Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo went for a spin with McLaren driver Jenson Button at the Circuito del Jarama on...

    F1
  19. I won't give up in title fight, Hamilton vows 18:04

    I won't give up in title fight, Hamilton vows

    Lewis Hamilton insists that he will not give up in his quest for the 2014 Formula 1 title, as he looks to cut Mercedes...

    F1
  20. Van der Garde gets another FP1 outing 16:00

    Van der Garde gets another FP1 outing

    Sauber reserve Giedo van der Garde will get his seventh practice outing of 2014 at the Italian Grand Prix. The former...

    F1
  21. Honda can match Mercedes, Arai reaffirms 14:09

    Honda can match Mercedes, Arai reaffirms

    Honda's motorsport chief, Yasuhisa Arai, has reiterated his belief that the Japanese brand will be able to match current...

    F1
  22. Lotus drivers back Parabolica changes 13:42

    Lotus drivers back Parabolica changes

    Lotus duo Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado have backed the decision to replace the gravel trap on the outside of Monza's...

    F1
  23. Ricciardo collects Lorenzo Bandini trophy 12:50

    Ricciardo collects Lorenzo Bandini trophy

    Daniel Ricciardo collected the Trofeo Lorenzo Bandini at a ceremony in Brisighella, Italy on Sunday. The trophy, awarded...

    F1
  24. 11:13

    Photos: 2014 VKV City Racing Rotterdam

    F1
  25. Álex Márquez seals Moto2 promotion 11:07

    Álex Márquez seals Moto2 promotion

    Álex Márquez, the younger brother of reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc, will step up to the Moto2 class with the Mark VDS R...

    MotoGP
  26. Force India duo confident over Monza chances 10:37

    Force India duo confident over Monza chances

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez are hopeful of putting together a more competitive showing at this w...

    F1
  27. Márquez had 'score to settle' after 2013 09:14

    Márquez had 'score to settle' after 2013

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez says he had a "score to settle" with Jorge Lorenzo at this year's British Grand Prix, having...

    MotoGP
  28. Monza memories: Button caught out at restart 05:00

    Monza memories: Button caught out at restart

    Relive the drama as Jenson Button is caught out by a slow Safety Car restart at the 2000 Italian Grand Prix.

    F1
  29. Sunday 31 August 2014

  30. Aleshin's condition upgraded to stable 15:57

    Aleshin's condition upgraded to stable

    Mikhail Aleshin will remain in hospital but his condition has been upgraded to stable following his huge IndyCar practice...

    Indy
  31. Verstappen damages wing during Rotterdam run 15:42

    Verstappen damages wing during Rotterdam run

    Dutch youngster Max Verstappen has had a minor crash during his first public Formula 1 outing at the VKV City Racing event...

    F1
  32. Williams plans to retain Massa, Bottas – Smedley 14:31

    Williams plans to retain Massa, Bottas – Smedley

    Williams Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley says the team plans to retain current drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri...

    F1
  33. 13:51

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  34. Márquez beats Lorenzo for 11th win of 2014 13:50

    Márquez beats Lorenzo for 11th win of 2014

    Marc Márquez came out on top in a battle with Jorge Lorenzo to claim his 11th victory of the season in the British Grand...

    MotoGP
  35. Lotterer open to more Caterham outings 11:49

    Lotterer open to more Caterham outings

    André Lotterer says he is open to more Formula 1 outings with Caterham, having made his debut in the sport with the team at...

    F1
  36. Gastaldi adamant Lotus can revive fortunes 10:09

    Gastaldi adamant Lotus can revive fortunes

    Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi is adamant that there is 'plenty to look forward to' at Lotus, despite the squad...

    F1
  37. 06:00

    Latest IndyCar photos: Saturday at Fontana

    Indy
  38. Power finally captures title, Kanaan wins Fontana 05:54

    Power finally captures title, Kanaan wins Fontana

    Will Power's voice cracked audibly as he spoke to his team on the cool-down laps at Fontana on Saturday night.  Three times...

    Indy
  39. Video of the Day: Formula 1 in every Renault 05:00

    Video of the Day: Formula 1 in every Renault

    Renault drivers receive an unexpected, special welcome whilst arriving at a supermarket car park.

    F1
  40. Saturday 30 August 2014

  41. 18:24

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  42. Márquez beats Dovizioso to Silverstone pole 15:01

    Márquez beats Dovizioso to Silverstone pole

    MotoGP championship leader Marc Márquez claimed pole position for the British Grand Prix in cool and cloudy conditions...

    MotoGP
  43. Maldonado anticipating tough Monza weekend 13:18

    Maldonado anticipating tough Monza weekend

    Pastor Maldonado is anticipating a tough time for Lotus as Formula 1 heads to the high-speed Monza for next weekend's...

    F1
  44. 12:30

    Photos: Red Bull's 50 Formula 1 wins

    F1
  45. Márquez quickest despite fall at Silverstone 10:48

    Márquez quickest despite fall at Silverstone

    Marc Márquez set the fastest time during the third practice session for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, before...

    MotoGP
more news