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 13 December 2017

  2. Video: Verstappen takes on Snake Eyez 16:32

    Video: Verstappen takes on Snake Eyez

    Watch as Formula 1 racer Max Verstappen takes on Red Bull Esports athlete Snake Eyez at Street Fighter.

    F1
  3. MotoGP to host Barcelona test for riders 14:38

    MotoGP to host Barcelona test for riders

    MotoGP's Race Direction will host an open test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in May, to enable riders to assess the new…

    MotoGP
  4. Ericsson defends record against Wehrlein 13:32

    Ericsson defends record against Wehrlein

    Marcus Ericsson has defended his record against former Sauber team-mate Pascal Wehrlein, despite failing to score a point in…

    F1
  5. Follow GPUpdate on social media channels 12:20

    Follow GPUpdate on social media channels

    For almost two decades GPUpdate.net has kept the motorsport community updated with the latest news, photos and thoughts from the…

    F1
  6. Video: Latifi on F2 season, 2018 title hopes 10:33

    Video: Latifi on F2 season, 2018 title hopes

    Nicholas Latifi reflects on his 2017 Formula 2 season, which featured one win and nine podiums, and looks ahead to a potential…

    F2
  7. Chilton excited by Carlin IndyCar project 10:04

    Chilton excited by Carlin IndyCar project

    Max Chilton believes that Carlin can emerge as a competitive force in IndyCar in 2018, after confirmation of the team's…

    Indy
  8. 2017 review: Solid Haas scores more points 09:06

    2017 review: Solid Haas scores more points

    GPUpdate.net continues its end-of-season review with Haas, which stabilised as both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen scored…

    F1
  9. Boullier 'not a fan' of Norris practice runs 08:35

    Boullier 'not a fan' of Norris practice runs

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says that he is "not a fan" of potentially giving Lando Norris practice outings in 2018…

    F1
  10. Video: Mercedes' Follow the Star - Day 13 05:36

    Video: Mercedes' Follow the Star - Day 13

    Mercedes continues its countdown to Christmas by reflecting on the British Grand Prix, which Lewis Hamilton won for the fourth…

    F1
  11. Tuesday 12 December 2017

  12. 17:02

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  13. Video: Roborace – Human versus Machine 16:22

    Video: Roborace – Human versus Machine

    Watch as Formula E presenter Nicki Shields takes on DevBot, a test mule for Roborace, the first driverless racing series, at the…

    FE
  14. Carlin enters IndyCar, signs Chilton, Kimball 14:18

    Carlin enters IndyCar, signs Chilton, Kimball

    Carlin has announced its move into the IndyCar series in a full-time capacity for the 2018 season, with Max Chilton and Charlie…

    Indy
  15. Monger eyes return to single-seater racing 12:49

    Monger eyes return to single-seater racing

    Billy Monger says that he hopes to return to single-seater competition in 2018, potentially in British Formula 3, after the FIA…

    Misc
  16. Dorna confirms supplier for electric series 11:37

    Dorna confirms supplier for electric series

    MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports has announced the supplier for the new FIM Moto-e World Cup electric series, which is set to begin…

    MotoGP
  17. De Vries, Müller to test Audi Formula E car 10:17

    De Vries, Müller to test Audi Formula E car

    Formula 2 driver Nyck de Vries and DTM racer Nico Müller will sample Formula E machinery with Audi in the series…

    FE
  18. Video: Hong Kong FE cinematic highlights 10:02

    Video: Hong Kong FE cinematic highlights

    Watch cinematic highlights from the first two races of the 2017/18 Formula E season, which took place on the streets of Hong…

    FE
  19. 2017 review: McLaren-Honda ends in divorce 09:02

    2017 review: McLaren-Honda ends in divorce

    GPUpdate.net continues its team-by-team review with McLaren, which finally lost patience with Honda, as the marque's revised…

    F1
  20. Williams silent over Kubica/Sirotkin reports 08:28

    Williams silent over Kubica/Sirotkin reports

    Williams is staying silent over reports that Robert Kubica has dropped out of contention for its 2018 race seat, and that Sergey…

    F1
  21. Video: Mercedes' Follow the Star - Day 12 05:48

    Video: Mercedes' Follow the Star - Day 12

    Mercedes continues its countdown to Christmas by looking back at the Austrian Grand Prix, where Valtteri Bottas took pole and…

    F1
  22. Monday 11 December 2017

  23. Video: Mercedes' Follow the Star - Day 11 15:04

    Video: Mercedes' Follow the Star - Day 11

    Mercedes continues its countdown to Christmas by reflecting on the dramatic Azerbaijan Grand Prix, when Lewis Hamilton was…

    F1
  24. Pirelli announces first 2018 compound choices 13:43

    Pirelli announces first 2018 compound choices

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has confirmed the compounds that will be used at the opening three Grands Prix of the 2018…

    F1
  25. Porsche outlines plans for early 2019 FE test 13:38

    Porsche outlines plans for early 2019 FE test

    Porsche has revealed that it intends to give its Formula E package its first on-track test in early 2019, ahead of its entry…

    FE
  26. Tost: Kvyat deserves to be in Formula 1 13:33

    Tost: Kvyat deserves to be in Formula 1

    Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost says that Daniil Kvyat "deserves" to be in Formula 1, despite recent setbacks, and hopes to see…

    F1
  27. Bottas eyes qualifying and consistency gains 12:16

    Bottas eyes qualifying and consistency gains

    Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas has accepted that he needs to improve his one-lap pace, and string a more consistent campaign…

    F1
  28. I was more aggressive in 2017 - Sainz Jr. 10:48

    I was more aggressive in 2017 - Sainz Jr.

    Carlos Sainz Jr. says he adopted a more aggressive stance in Formula 1 in 2017, in order to underline his credentials…

    F1
  29. Video: McLaren presents special Senna car 10:25

    Video: McLaren presents special Senna car

    McLaren presents its new road-legal track car, the McLaren Senna, which features a four-litre twin-turbocharged V8, producing…

    Misc
  30. 2017 review: Sauber builds for the future 09:16

    2017 review: Sauber builds for the future

    GPUpdate.net begins its team-by-team season review with Sauber, which again finished 10th, though this time without the…

    F1
  31. Video: WEC's 2018/19 'Super Season' teaser 05:42

    Video: WEC's 2018/19 'Super Season' teaser

    The World Endurance Championship looks ahead to its 2018/19 'Super Season', which includes two editions of the Le Mans 24 Hours…

    F1
  32. Sunday 10 December 2017

  33. Vettel says Baku was 'worst feeling' of 2017 15:18

    Vettel says Baku was 'worst feeling' of 2017

    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel says the aftermath of the rancorous Azerbaijan Grand Prix left him with the "worst feeling" of 2017…

    F1
  34. Video: Mercedes' Follow the Star - Day 10 14:22

    Video: Mercedes' Follow the Star - Day 10

    Mercedes continues its countdown to Christmas by reflecting on its 1-2 finish at the Canadian Grand Prix, bouncing back from its…

    F1
  35. Hamilton hopes for competitive McLaren in '18 13:04

    Hamilton hopes for competitive McLaren in '18

    Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton says he hopes former team McLaren will be able to compete among the leading group in…

    F1
  36. Video: Rosberg's Deutsche Bahn shoot 11:22

    Video: Rosberg's Deutsche Bahn shoot

    Go behind-the-scenes with 2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg during his recent commercial shoot for Deutsche Bahn in…

    F1
  37. MotoGP review: Márquez hits rivals for six 09:16

    MotoGP review: Márquez hits rivals for six

    Marc Márquez claimed his fourth premier class title in five years, and the sixth championship of his career, as he added more…

    MotoGP
  38. Video: Mercedes reflects on 2017 F1 season 05:48

    Video: Mercedes reflects on 2017 F1 season

    Mercedes reflects on its title-winning 2017 Formula 1 season with a pictorial review, to the words of Rudyard Kipling's 'If…

    F1
  39. Saturday 9 December 2017

  40. Wehrlein: Sauber slide hid personal gains 15:34

    Wehrlein: Sauber slide hid personal gains

    Pascal Wehrlein believes Sauber's regression through the second half of 2017 masked his improvements, as he faces an uncertain…

    F1
  41. Video: Mercedes' Follow the Star - Day 9 13:16

    Video: Mercedes' Follow the Star - Day 9

    Mercedes continues its countdown to Christmas with the latest instalment of its #FollowTheStar series by reflecting on the…

    F1
  42. Social: FIA Prize Giving ceremony in Versailles 11:34

    Social: FIA Prize Giving ceremony in Versailles

    The biggest names in motorsport were in attendance at the Palace of Versailles for the FIA's Prize Giving Ceremony. GPUpdate.net…

    F1
  43. Video: Prize Giving Red Carpet highlights 09:58

    Video: Prize Giving Red Carpet highlights

    Watch highlights from the Red Carpet as leading figures from the world of motorsport attend the FIA's annual Prize Giving…

    F1
  44. Massa takes on FIA role as karting chief 08:36

    Massa takes on FIA role as karting chief

    Felipe Massa has been appointed as the President of the CIK/International Karting Commission, following the annual meeting of…

    F1
  45. 07:30

    Gallery: FIA Prize Giving Ceremony 2017

    F1
more news