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Tiago Monteiro slams ‘lack of respect’ in Hungaroring races

Tiago Monteiro was critical of the ‘lack of respect’ shown in the FIA World Touring Car Cup races at the Hungaroring, with the Honda driver particularly frustrated about his exit from race two.

Unlike the Münnich Motorsport Honda drivers, Monteiro struggled for pace all weekend in Hungary, qualifying outside the top twenty drivers in both qualifying sessions.

That left the Portuguese racer, who had taken two top ten finishes in the previous event in Morocco, fighting to stay out of trouble in the mid-pack in Hungary.

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Having finished race one on Saturday outside the points in 18th, Monteiro started race two from a slightly better grid position of 21st.

However, the KCMG driver’s race would only last for less than a lap after he was taken out in a chaotic mid-pack, in a race which started in drizzly conditions.

He then went on to just miss out on the points in race three, taking the chequered flag in 6th in his repaired Civic.

“It was very rough out there,” Monteiro told TouringCars.Net. “I know touring cars is a contact sport, but there was no respect whatsoever. They were not even trying. There was not even one attempt to overtake, it was just [a case of] contact to push you out and overtake.

“It must be very difficult for the stewards – you need to have 26 stewards working on every driver, on every corner, for a full lap.

“At the chicane two drivers passed me by cutting the chicane and they stayed in front. They actually passed me and nothing happened.

“We are going to have to talk about it because I don’t think a World Championship should go in that direction. I understand that you can be rough and aggressive, but it needs to be a little bit more controlled, or it’s up to us to start at the front and then we don’t have that problem.”

Monteiro believes that the team’s lack of pace relative to the pace-setting Hondas from Münnich Motorsport was in part down to a lack of testing on the new Yokohama tyre being used in 2019.

“We have a small idea [about the lack of [pace]. The main thing is that here the biggest difference is the tyres. Even though we had a nice testing programme during the winter, we realise now that we haven’t tried the new tyres enough.

“It’s one of the key things that they changed, and they [Münnich] have done a lot of testing on the new tyres, and now it’s paying off.

“The car doesn’t suffer from tyre degradation in the same way as TC1 [cars]; you can easily attack the whole race without big, big problems, so it’s clear that we have to focus on qualifying, and for that you have to work on your tyre pressures and cambers more accurately than what we thought.

“Here we just didn’t find the right balance and it was a disaster. It’s not so far off, but because its so competitive you are at the back.

“I said it before the championship started – if you don’t nail your set up and your driving during the weekend you will be last because its so competitive and that’s exactly what has happened.

“It’s not a disaster – the car was not bad, I was just not there, and it makes a big difference because if you start at the back the level is so high.”

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