Monteiro thrilled with 14th on the grid After being forced to endure the pain of a toothache all weekend, Tiago Monteiro put in a brilliant qualifying lap for the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon, the Jordan-Toyota driver ...
Monteiro thrilled with 14th on the grid
After being forced to endure the pain of a toothache all weekend, Tiago Monteiro put in a brilliant qualifying lap for the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon, the Jordan-Toyota driver securing 14th on the grid (after the disqualification of Takuma Sato's BAR) giving the Silverstone based squad one of its best starting positions of the season.
The Portuguese driver had already proven his talents earlier in the day after registering a time just 1.4 seconds behind the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello, close to the time he was behind the Brazilian after qualifying as well, the Ferrari staring on the next row up.
In fact, Tiago will take to the starting grid with two world champions behind him, Jacques Villeneuve and Michael Schumacher, and will start well ahead of his teammate Narain Karthikeyan (who changed an engine in the morning and will start from pitlane) and both Minardis.
"It is possibly the most difficult weekend of my career from a health point of view. I have never suffered as much at the time of race weekend and added to that, this tooth infection also prevents me from sleeping. I could close my eyes at 4am last night, before having to get up and prepare for qualifying," explains Tiago.
"To compensate for this though, everything went well on the track. I carried out my qualifying lap with 60 litres of fuel on board, and even if I had problems of ground clearance, my position on the starting grid is not disappointing."
"We are to 3.9 off pole time on one of the longest circuits of the season, and only 1.4 seconds of the best car on Bridgestone tyres, and all this is despite a very demanding circuit from an aerodynamic viewpoint, which is not our strong point."
Tiago is now focusing on his mission of continuing his record by a rookie in Formula One, to see the chequered flag for the 14th consecutive time. The race however will not be easy what with his insistent tooth ache and his choice of soft Bridgestone rubber...
"The race will be difficult because we chose soft tyres. If the hot weather is confirmed, they could complicate life a little. But we had to take the risk!"