Things were proceeding as planned after Monteiro brilliantly took command of the race...
When it comes to the final day of the FIA World Touring Car Championship season, after a year of ups and downs where podiums and victories were stolen due to minor problems, the biggest wish was to avenge all these mishaps and finish 2014 on a high. That was exactly what Tiago Monteiro and Honda were living in the final race of the WTCC season that took place on the most iconic circuit in the world, the Guia in Macau.
After finishing fourth in the first race of the weekend, the Portuguese driver aimed high for the last race, where he was due to start from fourth place on the grid, giving him an even better chance of being successful. Things were proceeding as planned after he brilliantly took command of the race, leading until the arrival of the 'safety car' near the end. This made Tiago confident of climbing onto the top step of the podium for the final time of 2014, as he had opened up a gap of more than two seconds and was controlling the race with just one lap to go.
I drove an exemplary race, only to see victory slip away on the last lap due to a mechanical problem. It is very frustrating.
However, fate was not kind and on that last lap he was dealt a cruel blow when his Honda was forced to retire, turning his dream into a nightmare. "This is the worst outcome for any driver. I've had difficult times in numerous races throughout my career, but this is especially difficult. Difficult to accept and to understand. As you are aware I drove an exemplary race, only to see victory slip away on the last lap due to a mechanical problem. It is very frustrating.
It would have been a very special win, because we have had a challenging year which was often difficult, but because we are running in Macau and it is the last year on this track, all of the team deserved this win. I'm sad for me, the team and for all those who support me and who I am sure feel my disappointment today. But as the old saying goes, that which does not kill us makes us stronger. We must move forward," said Tiago Monteiro.
Due to this misfortune, Tiago had to be content with fifth place in the Championship, however he will now focus his attention on the upcoming 2015 season and will be back on track in no time.
Despite losing several top three finishes and even race victories, Tiago still achieved a total of five podiums places for the 2014 season.