This will naturally be an excellent opportunity for all of the media organizations to interview one of the main candidates of the French Formula 3 Championship, who will travel to Magny Cours on the 19th and 20th of May to run the fourth round of...
This will naturally be an excellent opportunity for all of the media organizations to interview one of the main candidates of the French Formula 3 Championship, who will travel to Magny Cours on the 19th and 20th of May to run the fourth round of the season.
Tiago, having spent a large part of your sport's career abroad, you are naturally proud of this award?
"Of course. I am very honored since it is a national recognition of my hard work and it is always comforting to know that our country is aware of our career, specially when it's the President himself delivering the award".
Taking a look at your career this year, does the 2001 season confirm to be one of the best seasons you've had?
"Yes, it's true. In three races, I attained one victory and two podium positions, but most important is the fact that I was always able to run at a good rhythm and among the first three. If I had been able to achieve these results last year, I am confident I would of won the Championship; even though the car wasn't perfect I was able to run among the leading pack and win races during the second third of the season".
At this moment, you are one of the main candidates for the Championship Title. Do you believe that this will be your year of affirmation?
"I am more and more confident and I know exactly what my capacities are. I know I have it in me to win the Championship, but there is a long way to go until the end and many things can still happen. I am not into making prognostics, but I know I can conquer my goals, and one of them is to become the French Formula 3 Champion".
Tell us about your relationship with the ASM Team.
"We've known ourselves for three years, and our relationship just keeps growing, both with the mechanics and with the engineers, obviously including the Team Boss. They are aware that I am their best bet to start winning Championships again, they won in 1998 and now they have bet all their chips on me"
Analyzing the races and the testing, in your opinion, what do you think could be your biggest opposition?
"There are three major championship candidates: Ryo Fukuda, Bruno Besson and myself, and I believe it will be a battle among the three until the end, although there is still my teammate Tristan Gommendy, Renaud Derlot and Mathieu Zangarelli, who has much more potential than he has shown this year".
If your priority is the French Formula 3 Championship, why participate in other events such as the Andros Trophy or the GT's, where you are currently leading?
"Those are two completely different situations. In the GT Championship, the Team in which I premiered in the Porsche Cup invited me. There are three cars, and in France there must be a professional and an amateur driver per car, so they remembered to call me up. I run in this championship because of it's amazing environment, and I help out on the set ups. Since I already give driving classes, I enjoy helping out. Even though it's a more relaxed championship, I make a point in never losing my professionalism, and an effort to always do my best and win the races. We never know what the future brings and it is important to maintain our high standards so all our contacts and doors be open".
There is a lot of talk about what your connection with Renault could become, specifically your entrance in Formula One.
"My relationship with Renault France is constantly growing. Unfortunately, Renault Portugal has never shown an interest in having a Portuguese Renault driver in Formula One as fast as possible, and I'm not even talking financially. I am sorry this is the situation. Since in France, everything is running well with the make, all I really need is to lead the championship and keep on winning races".
Which is currently happening.
"Yes. If all keeps running as well as it has, I have great opportunities in making part of a Team next year. I have faith and I know I am fulfilling what has been expected of me. I am hopeful that in the year 2002 I will be in Formula One, even if its being a test driver in a Team".