Münnich Motorsport’s Gianni Morbidelli admits that he is “looking to deliver” with the arrival of his new race engineer as the World Touring Car Championship arrives in Hungary, who the Italian cites as ‘the final piece of the puzzle’.
Morbidelli has so far scored a best result of sixth in 2014 and last time out in France took just the one points finish after having been turned around by Tom Chilton in race two. The 46-year-old feels therefore that with the arrival of his race engineer this weekend that his season is now about to kick off.
“My new race engineer Charles Hodge joins our team in Hungary, and I have to say that it’s a relief to learn that this piece of the puzzle is going to fall into place,” admitted Morbidelli. “In Morocco and France in spite of bad breaks I somehow had a chance to gather some bit of information about the new car, but in order to transform those bits into nuggets you definitely need an experienced engineer. I do hope that Charles will add to our team chemistry–which was already good.
“It may going too far to say that actually my championship starts in Hungary, none the less this is the venue where I want to start to deliver,” added Morbidelli. “There are two issues I hope to have left behind at Paul Ricard: the first was struggling with car set-up, and the new race engineer is here to help us to fix it.”
Morbidelli also criticised the driving standards experienced in France, especially in the second race where he was hit by Chilton who subsequently received a drive-through penalty for the incident. The Italian also cited the start-line shunt in Morocco which sidelined Tom Coronel for the second meeting of the year as another example of the poor driving standards thus far seen in the WTCC.
“The other awful thing in France was the show put on by drivers with a penchant for rashness,” said Morbidelli. “This may entertain someone who watches us on TV, but it’s a recipe for clearing the WTCC garages, especially with a string of meetings so close to each other, and it’s already happened that WTCC drivers have been sidelined due to reckless driving.
“It’s an issue I’ll bring forward to the next drivers meeting, because we better stop this thing here. It’s not something I am not equipped to live with, as I was introduced to tin-tops by a tough lot that included gritty guys such as Cecotto and Ravaglia, but to be honest the new rules had made me anticipating a season of sheer high-performance racing, not a heap of battered bodywork and banged wheels.”