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Gianni Morbidelli says cancelling race two ‘sensible’

Münnich Motorsport’s Gianni Morbidelli has agreed with the officials decision to cancel the second World Touring Car Championship race at the Slovakiaring – likening the conditions to the 1991 Australian Grand Prix, which is still officially the shortest Formula One race ever held.

Morbidelli admits that he was struggling to keep his car on the track in race one, where he ultimately held on to finish in sixth and move up to seventh in the championship as a result.

“There may have been wetter races, and I am not an expert on these stats, but it’s been quite rare in my career to spend so much time toiling with aquaplaning this way and working like mad just to keep the wheels aligned – in a straight line,” admitted Morbidelli. “Especially the pit straight was quite dangerous, believe me.”

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Race two on Sunday was cancelled due to the torrential rain at the Slovakian circuit – the first time in WTCC history that an event has been cancelled altogether. The Münnich Motorsport driver likened the conditions to his only F1 race for Ferrari back in 1991.

“In a way this weird Sunday made me feel young again, as it reminded me of the day when I was summoned by Ferrari to replace Alain Prost in Australia, back in 1991,” added the Italian. “In Adelaide since the start everybody was vanishing behind a wall of water and it was a crazy race, one I even managed to finish in P6.

“But an early stoppage made Adelaide the shortest F1 race ever – I think it still is. Slovakiaring today was a crazy Sunday and it was a lot of effort just to keep my Cruze in one piece. It was as tough as it was then with the Ferrari.

“However today was so bad that we were struggling with tin-tops, not single-seaters, and this is telling, isn’t it? Luckily, Slovakiaring was Adelaide minus the stranded cars and wrecks that were all over the place.”

Morbidelli agreed with the decision of the officials to cancel the second race of the day, with conditions at the circuit by then significantly wetter than they had been earlier in the afternoon.

“Even though I was making up ground on the Chevys in front of me it was the right choice to call the safety car in, and with this kind of monsoon rain calling it a day after race one I guess was the sensible thing to do,” admitted the 46-year-old, who like LADA will return to the circuit later this week to carry out further testing on his Chevrolet.

“I’m not done with Slovakiaring: just some hours back home and on Wednesday I’ll be again driving here. We’ve booked a test session, with an eye on the next meeting in Austria.”

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