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. Saturday 23 September 2017

  2. 17:04

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  3. Márquez 'pushed too much' in pole pursuit 17:02

    Márquez 'pushed too much' in pole pursuit

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez accepted that he "pushed too much" during the closing stages of qualifying for the Aragón…

    MotoGP
  4. Rossi labels front row spot 'big surprise' 14:46

    Rossi labels front row spot 'big surprise'

    Valentino Rossi labelled his front-row grid spot for the Aragón Grand Prix as a "big surprise" after making an…

    MotoGP
  5. 14:07

    Aragón Grand Prix: Qualifying 2 results

    MotoGP
  6. Viñales takes Aragón pole, Rossi third 14:04

    Viñales takes Aragón pole, Rossi third

    Movistar Yamaha's Maverick Viñales made it back-to-back pole positions during a thrilling qualifying session for the Aragón…

    MotoGP
  7. MotoGP confirms 2018 pre-season schedule 12:46

    MotoGP confirms 2018 pre-season schedule

    MotoGP organisers have confirmed the championship's pre-season test dates and venues for the 2018 campaign. As per usual, the…

    MotoGP
  8. F1 relaxes rules over current cars for demos 11:12

    F1 relaxes rules over current cars for demos

    Formula 1's Sporting Regulations have been relaxed in order to allow current-spec cars to be run at any demonstration events…

    F1
  9. 10:38

    Latest F3 photos: Saturday at Spielberg

    F3
  10. Ilott converts pole into victory in Austria 10:36

    Ilott converts pole into victory in Austria

    Prema's Callum Ilott took his fifth victory of the European Formula 3 season with a lights-to-flag drive in the opening race of…

    F3
  11. 10:00

    Aragón Grand Prix: Full Practice 3 results

    MotoGP
  12. Márquez heads FP3 as Rossi makes Q2 09:59

    Márquez heads FP3 as Rossi makes Q2

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez led the way as all six manufacturers had a representative inside the top 10 during the…

    MotoGP
  13. Palmer: Points a weight off my shoulders 08:58

    Palmer: Points a weight off my shoulders

    Renault's Jolyon Palmer says scoring points in Singapore was a "weight off the shoulders" and feels he can tackle the remaining…

    F1
  14. Video: Ralf Schumacher's Formula 4 team 05:48

    Video: Ralf Schumacher's Formula 4 team

    Find out more about the US Racing ADAC Formula 4 team, run by ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher and former Mercedes DTM boss…

    Misc
  15. Friday 22 September 2017

  16. 16:12

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  17. Video: IndyCar's new 2018 brake package 16:02

    Video: IndyCar's new 2018 brake package

    IndyCar technical guru Jon Beekhuis explains the technical advancements for the brake package on the series' 2018 car that will…

    Indy
  18. Formula 1 developing exhaust microphone 14:43

    Formula 1 developing exhaust microphone

    Formula 1 is developing a microphone that can be fitted to a car's exhaust to provide a "true amplification" of sound in the…

    F1
  19. 14:06

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  20. 14:00

    Aragón Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    MotoGP
  21. Pedrosa heads Lorenzo in second practice 13:58

    Pedrosa heads Lorenzo in second practice

    Honda rider Dani Pedrosa topped the timesheets during second practice for Aragón Grand Prix, ahead of Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo…

    MotoGP
  22. Yamaha set to offer van der Mark test run 13:47

    Yamaha set to offer van der Mark test run

    Yamaha is set to offer Michael van der Mark a test on its MotoGP bike, with the Dutchman's planned debut at the Aragón Grand…

    MotoGP
  23. Red Bull adds four karters to Junior Team 12:22

    Red Bull adds four karters to Junior Team

    Red Bull has added four karters to its Junior Team line-up for the 2018 season. OK World Championship karter Dennis Haugar…

    Misc
  24. F1 to make classic race available online 12:01

    F1 to make classic race available online

    Formula 1's official website will make a classic Malaysian Grand Prix available online for fans to watch later this month, as…

    F1
  25. Video: Jaguar presents new car, new driver 10:48

    Video: Jaguar presents new car, new driver

    Jaguar introduces its new car and new driver for Formula E's fourth season, with inaugural series champion Nelson Piquet Jr.…

    FE
  26. 09:46

    Aragón Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    MotoGP
  27. Márquez fastest as Rossi returns at Aragón 09:44

    Márquez fastest as Rossi returns at Aragón

    Marc Márquez topped a wet opening practice session for the Aragón Grand Prix, as Valentino Rossi returned to action following…

    MotoGP
  28. China, Bahrain could swap places on roster 08:39

    China, Bahrain could swap places on roster

    Formula 1 commercial chief Sean Bratches is "incredibly optimistic" that China will remain on the calendar next season, though…

    F1
  29. Video: F1 pit-stop in the dark - making of 05:36

    Video: F1 pit-stop in the dark - making of

    Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, Mercedes team partner EPSON challenged mechanics to complete a pit-stop in the dark. Go…

    F1
  30. Thursday 21 September 2017

  31. FIA amends Super Licence points for 2018 19:34

    FIA amends Super Licence points for 2018

    The FIA has restructured the Super Licence points system for 2018, with several championships having their allocation reduced…

    F1
  32. FIA outlines 2019 F3 International proposal 18:59

    FIA outlines 2019 F3 International proposal

    The FIA has outlined its ambition for the proposed FIA F3 International Championship, which is set to replace the current…

    F3
  33. Switzerland joins 2017/18 Formula E calendar 18:42

    Switzerland joins 2017/18 Formula E calendar

    Switzerland will feature on the Formula E calendar in the 2017/18 season, with a street race to take place in…

    FE
  34. Video: IndyCar Sonoma remix highlights 16:36

    Video: IndyCar Sonoma remix highlights

    Watch remix highlights of IndyCar's season-ending Grand Prix of Sonoma, in which Penske driver Josef Newgarden claimed his…

    Indy
  35. Sauber confirms Leclerc for four FP1 runs 15:09

    Sauber confirms Leclerc for four FP1 runs

    Sauber will field Ferrari-backed Charles Leclerc during four practice sessions over the remainder of the season, ahead of an…

    F1
  36. 15:04

    Overview: 2017/18 Formula E line-up so far

    FE
  37. Piquet Jr. joins Evans at Jaguar for S4 15:02

    Piquet Jr. joins Evans at Jaguar for S4

    Nelson Piquet Jr. has joined Mitch Evans at Jaguar for Formula E's fourth season. Ex-Formula 1 driver Piquet Jr. was crowned…

    FE
  38. 14:35

    Overview: Complete 2018 MotoGP line-up

    MotoGP
  39. Siméon signs for Avintia, completes '18 grid 14:33

    Siméon signs for Avintia, completes '18 grid

    Moto2 race winner Xavier Siméon will make the step up to MotoGP next season, joining Avintia on a two-year deal, in a move that…

    MotoGP
  40. Rossi passed fit to compete at Aragón GP 13:43

    Rossi passed fit to compete at Aragón GP

    Valentino Rossi has passed the medical check required to compete at this weekend's Aragón Grand Prix, just three weeks on from…

    MotoGP
  41. McLaren-Honda stint 'a proper disaster' 12:37

    McLaren-Honda stint 'a proper disaster'

    McLaren's latest partnership with Honda was "a proper disaster" for the team's credibility, says Racing Director Eric Boullier…

    F1
  42. Video: Verstappen 'moves on' from clash 12:18

    Video: Verstappen 'moves on' from clash

    Red Bull driver Max Verstappen vows to move on after his first-lap clash with Ferrari drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian…

    F1
  43. Barberá to step down to Moto2 with Pons 11:45

    Barberá to step down to Moto2 with Pons

    Héctor Barberá will step back down to Moto2 in 2018, after signing a deal with Pons, bringing to a close an eight-season spell…

    MotoGP
more news