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Tiago Monteiro: ‘You can’t see anything’

Honda driver Tiago Monteiro has admitted that today’s World Touring Car Championship races around Monza will be difficult, with the team not having completed any wet running with the car before.

“Lovely conditions! Wet and cold,” said Monteiro to TouringCars.Net. “There was lots of standing water and also water in the air due to the  spray so it’s very difficult, to be honest. It’s the first time we’ve driven the car in the wet. We never had the experience before – we did a lot of testing but it was always cold and dry.”

With the chance of rain for Sunday’s races being 95%, all of the teams have been preparing their wet set-ups in the morning warm-up. It will also be the first time that a wet WTCC race has taken place at Monza.

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“We never had weather which is wet here,” added Monteiro. “It’s the first time here at Monza with these cars so especially the set up was difficult – finding out what works with it.”

As well as finding the right set-up, Monteiro also has to contend with the problems of spray and steaming-up of the car windscreen.

“You can’t see anything – there’s a lot of spray. You’ve got to be really careful. I’m starting in P15 and I’m not going to see anything so I have to be really careful, especially if there’s a crash.  If anything goes wrong, the people behind cannot do anything but crash into each other so you have to be extra, extra careful. There’s two races to do and we need to be there at the end.”

The Portugese racer is hoping that the experience within his Honda team will help them to make the most of the wet conditions – between them Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini have at least 25 years experience in touring car racing.

“The drivers experience counts, because the team hasn’t run in the wet for ages,” continued Monteiro. “Between Gabriele and I we have done a lot of wet races in the past so we can give some feedback. Of course they are not new engineers – they’ve been out in the wet before, but it is more based upon experience from both the team and the drivers because we have never driven this car in the wet.

“Considering everything I would be very pleased with points. I want to finish both races and I want to get more experience with the car and we need mileage on the car to be honest.”

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