Estoril: Alex Zanardi weekend summary

BACK ON EARTH! Dear Friends, The Portuguese reality took me back on earth, after twirling delightfully for the good result obtained at Brno. Anyway, there are some reasons that led the weekend towards a more opaque performance than what it...

BACK ON EARTH!

Dear Friends,

The Portuguese reality took me back on earth, after twirling delightfully for the good result obtained at Brno. Anyway, there are some reasons that led the weekend towards a more opaque performance than what it could have been.

In qualifying we certainly had the setup wrong but a problem to the brakes that prevented me to fully exploit a new set of tyres contributed to the "disastrous" position in the starting grid.

In race one I tried to attack, but carefully, since I knew that the middle of the group of WTCC is a place whereby one can find troubles without even looking for them. And in fact, timely, I have been hit at the second corner in which one of the front rods got bent. Despite of this , I managed to get back to an honourable ninth place but the understeering caused by the setup problem soon got much worse and it force me to slow my race pace down. I have therefore been caught by those opponents that were easy to pull away from just a few minutes earlier. Just to add bad to the worse, in a fight with Menu I have been hit again and this bent the rod of the front right tyre too. This made my BMW more unstable than the Lupella...

In race one I made a stunning start and I recovered eleven positions in a single lap, but this has been just flash in the pan; stuck behind Tarquini I have been caught up by Farfus to whom I voluntarily gave the position since I thought that in a few laps we both would have overtaken the opponents that were in front of us thanks to the tyre wearing that usually penalizes "rear wheeled" more than us "BMWers". But no way! In the last three races I was "rowing desperately" and I managed to let myself be overtaken by the good Coronel whom I had got rid of very quickly at the beginning of the race. The performance drop in race two is the only thing that worries me a bit and it is the technical matter that I will take care of with the engineers of the team.

There are some positive facts too: I lost 30kg of handicap weight due to the victory of Brno and, as a curious thing, I add that for the first thing since I started racing in the WTCC I received a fair-play sign from an opponent that was not one of my brand-mates, this made me happy. I am talking about Alain Menu that after the contact of race one came to me apologizing. This proved to me that there still are people around that not only know how to move the wheel but has the class to do it respecting the opponents.

If I read again what I wrote so far I realize that I pictured the scene darker than what it was. At the end of the day it was the first time I was running with that amount of ballast on board, more than most of my collegues and hadn't I had the qualifying wrong I would probably had the rhythm to get home something good. For these reasons I believe that at Brands Hatch I will have a good chance to get a good result. In fact not only I will have a lighter car of 30kg, but I will also race on a track that I reckon emphasizes the qualities of our car and minimizes the technical gap that other circuits force on me due to violent brakings and turn approachings requiring a lot of wheel work.

All the best, see you soon,

-credit: alex zanardi

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Alex Zanardi , Alain Menu