Yann Ehrlacher, Yvan Muller, Jean-Karl Vernay and Attila Tassi attended the Race 2 virtual press conference at WTCR Race of Hungary. A transcript follows.
Press Conference Room, Hungaroring, October 18, 2020
Yann Ehrlacher, Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, first position
Yvan Muller, Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, second position
Jean-Karl Vernay, Team Mulsanne, third position
Attila Tassi, ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport
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RACE 2 REPORT:
Yann, you have extended your points lead to 40 and you had a fantastic start to a brilliant race for you.
Yes, first of a big congratulations to the gents with my on the podium. We had a good start, Yvan and me. We managed to get by the CUPRA and then Yvan let me by and cover my back all the race, so that was a proper team effort. I’m really thankful for this. Then I just had to manage my pace and don’t do any mistakes, be careful with the tyres because I knew if there was a safety car there is no point to build a 10-second gap, so I was managing it. A reverse-grid win never tastes the same as a proper win, but it’s good points and I need them.
It’s turning out to be a strong weekend given that you guys felt you didn’t have the pace before qualifying. Also, in Race 3 while you start further back there is potential to climb up the order.
Or finish in the barrier as well when you see the standard in the middle and at the back of the field, it looks like a war. It’s going to be exciting and I will try to make my way through the safest way. You never know what can happen, but for me the weekend is already a good second. After FP2 we were one and a half seconds off and now we are back in the game with two podiums, so we’ll just keep going that way.
Yvan, your start was mega and you did a great job of holding Jean-Karl Vernay back, almost allowing Santiago Urrutia to make it a Lynk & Co one-two-three.
No, I was not doing that for Santi, I was worried because the Alfa is very light in terms of weight and I was worried about the front tyres for the end of the race for us, because the wear on tyres is bigger on our car. That’s why I just kept a gap big enough to give some air to Yann in case JK could overtake me. And at the same time I wanted to have a clear track in front of me because when you follow a car too close you have big understeer. There was no point to stay behind Yann because I would not attack him and at least I was looking after my tyres.
A great result for Lynk & Co, isn’t it?
Yes, a great result for Lynk & Co and Cyan Racing. We lead probably even more the teams’ championship and Yann took another advantage on the drivers’ championship, so it’s a good team effort and I’d like to join Thed Björk and Santi in this effort.
Jean-Karl, your start was mega, but your start after the safety car could have gone a little better. What went on there?
I was very pleased with my start and also from behind the safety car, it was more about our strategy, let’s say. As Yvan said, he was managing… it was a family business, which is quite acceptable, that is their strategy. But I had to deal with that because Yvan was slowing me down a little bit and Santi was coming back so I had to deal with both of them. So, I said ‘OK, try to stay clam, no mistakes, make a gap where you can, try to slow down a little bit while being sure Santi will not overtake you.’ And that was all. To overtake Yvan, it’s not like I was quick enough to make a pass and I was happy with the podium. It’s a good result for us, I’m super-happy with the balance of the car. It was not the best track for Alfa Romeos in the last two years and I think to show the consistency we are showing since the start of the year is a really good point and we are going to try to continue this way. I’m very happy with the work of the team and now we have another race to make another good start. P6 is not that far [from the front] and I am hoping for good points.
Yes, you start P6 and Azcona and Girolami might not be back out, so you have a good chance to make up places.
It is not the way we want to race, so hopefully they will be back on track. Now I have really discovered the Alfa and know how it works, I have worked a lot on my coordination and the last four starts have been really excellent, so… I know exactly what I have to do and I am going to try and do the same and we’ll see at the first corner. As Yann and Yvan said, the first lap is kind of a mess, you need to be smart and be lucky also, and that’s all I want.
Attila, how was that race for you?
This was a little bit more calm than Race 1. I had an OK start, not a perfect one. In Turn 1 I went way too wide, more than I wanted, so I lost out there and then at Turn 2 I was on the outside and there were some collisions in front of me, so I could take good advantage without any touch on my car. Obviously we were taking care of the car for Race 3 because that is the most important for us. Afterwards I was trying to overtake Bence with the CUPRA, but it was just impossible because the straight-line speed they have, we don’t have a chance. I was struggling with the front tyres for two or three laps, to pass him in sector two but it was not enough because every time there was a straight he made a gap. After that I got a call from the team to let Esteban by, which I did. Then he tried but it was the same lack of success for us. Afterwards I was just following Esteban and made some very good points for Race 2 as well.
What is the team strategy for Race 3? I can’t imagine you are going to want to stay behind Esteban.
We will see. The top four is all Honda, so for sure there will be some team orders I guess, but we’ll see how the start and first lap go, then we will be clever.
Is that how it would be discussed, to see how it is after the first corner?
Yeah, the start is not always good. Sometimes it’s very bad, sometimes it’s very good, so everyone has to get away and then after lap one or two we will get a message or not. We will see the rankings between the four of us. We will see. Obviously I’m pushing for a podium which would be a great success here at home in the WTCR. Obviously that is the aim, but I’m working on a good start and also I can get Esteban and then manage the pace. But first we need a very good start and then we will see how it will happen.