Pit & paddock

Spa-Francorchamps - belgium

Comments after the race at Spa

Andrea Bertolini: «It was an incredible victory, easy only if analyzed superficially because up to the middle of the race we fought against fast, aggressive adversaries.»

Andrea Bertolini (2): «I can’t tell you if this success is better than the one in 2006, all that matters is that my name is in this race’s honor’s list. I thank the team and Maserati for the opportunity I was given and I dedicate this success to Roberto Ronchi, who is leaving Maserati, and I welcome Harald Wester who is joining us now.» 

Michael Bartles:  «It’s difficult to find the words to comment such a result. Nevertheless I’d like to say that we made all the right choices in this 24 Hours, starting with the drivers that were brought here, and then the hard work preparing the vehicles in Germany and in Modena, Italy, after the Oschersleben race. We’ve won three times in four years with the MC12, and this means that the team works well together and knows how to face great competitions. It is hard to find the words to describe a result like today's. The whole squad gave absolutely everything. We proved that last year's outcome was pure bad luck. The team was perfect and we scored a lot of useful points at the six, twelve and eighteen hour marks.

Maserati once again fielded the world's reliable car in this type of competition. The result was positive in terms of the championship but the road will be a long one and our adversaries are top draw.
There are still fifty points to play for and so we need to stay focused on our objectives from Bucharest on. We know it will be tough but today we can enjoy an amazing result, both forVitaphone and for Maserati. I would really like to thank Michelin. We tend to forget to do it because we take them for granted but we should always talk up the Clermont Ferrand department as it is, I think, one of the most advanced anywhere. We are proud to have a partner like the French tyre manufacturer.»
Stephane Sarrazin: «I believe I did a good job during the night stints when we had to catch up with Maserati no. 2. I felt immediately at home with the car and the team. I have to say that to me, winning the 24 Hours is a dream and I have to thank Bartels for calling me and the team for their great work.» 
Eric van de Poele (Vitaphone Racing- Maserati MC12 no. 2): «This victory effectively blots out last's year's bad memories, when I threw away certain victory. 
Being the driver who has had the greatest number of victories here at Spa 24 Hours (5) gives me great satisfaction. I was able to achieve this thanks to Bartels and to the work of the entire team. I want to dedicate this victory to Paul Frère, a great driver and reporter who passed away in February. He could be considered the spiritual father of all Belgian drivers.»




Comments after the qualifying at Spa

Alexander Negraõ: «The pit stops have to go smoothly and we will need to keep out of trouble during the entire event».

Andrea Bertolini: «Unfortunately, the traffic on the track was decisive and this was a shame because the car had the potential to be on the front row. On my first quick lap I was held up at the final curve by a much slower car. From the telemetry, you can see that I dropped 1"6 seconds (for the record, Bertolini's best time with the first set of tyres was 2'15"759, Ed). I asked for the car's set up to be tweaked because I felt a but of understeer when I put my foot down, especially at Pouhon and at Eau Rouge. Now the car handled much better but the track was so congested I couldn't make the most of the new tyres. With the third set and on a dry track, we managed to improve the time even though there was a car ahead of me coming out of Blanchimont. Still, I am pleased because the car is consistently quick and this is what counts

Alexander Negraõ (2): «It was certainly a strange qualifying session. The first set of tyres worked well and, with the track still quite warm, we were comfortably in third even though we were trying not to stress the brakes too much taking corners. We had old brakes on the car as the number of sets used during the season is quite low anyway. We didn't really have the chance to exploit the second set due to the traffic and then the red flag came out. I only had the third and last set on for about nine minutes but, as it was the first time I have driven this track in the dark, I couldn't get the best out of them. 

This meant that I could not attack some of the more bigger curves and that is crucial to do if you want a quick time. The time may be a reason to be down but I am not worried at all. Firstly, the car is set up brilliantly; secondly, we have three sets of tyres in good condition and, thirdly, the race lasts 24 hours so it is not fundamental to be in pole. We will have to be switched on the whole time and maintain a high tempo in the race».