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Tiago Monteiro aiming to be ‘best of the rest’

Honda’s Tiago Monteiro says he is aiming to be the ‘best of the rest’ behind the Citroën squad in this weekend’s World Touring Car Championship races in Russia, with the Portugese driver admitting that he is uncertain if a podium is possible.

Monteiro has scored four podium finishes from nine races so far in 2014 and is enjoying his best-ever start to a WTCC campaign, having finished in the points in all races so far.

The former Formula 1 driver acknowledges the importance of consistency, but says that he is not sure if a podium is possible on raw pace.

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“My goal and the teams is to score as many points as possible, because consistency is a key factor in this championship,” said Monteiro. “But we need to be realistic; our goal is to be the best behind the Citroën squad – the best of the rest.”

The Moscow Raceway features one of the longest straights on the WTCC calendar and Monteiro admits that this presents an unknown quantity to the team.

“That is why there is an unknown factor,” admitted Monteiro. “We will use the technical sections to our advantage because we know that other sections may be more complicated for us.

“I hope that the changes made to the chassis will allow us to take a step forward, but I do not know yet whether a fight for the podium is a realistic goal, but we will do our best and will seize every opportunity available to us.”

Monteiro says that in addition to the uncertainties presented by the contrasting twisty sections and the long straight, tyre wear could also play an important role.

“If it’s hot like last year, tyre degradation will play an important role too, because the asphalt on the Moscow Raceway is pretty rough,” explained the 37-year-old. “There will plenty of parameters which will determine the race results – including the fact that the Civic will run with 20 extra kilos Compensation Weight – but I’m confident that we’ll find the right solutions.”

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