Vitaphone Racing Team - Copyright Maserati/Mario Chiarappa
 

Comments after the Championship Race

Paul Ricard - FRA
04/07/2010

Bartels/Bertolini 

Comments after the Championship Race

04/07/2010 - Paul Ricard
Andrea Bertolini - Vitaphone Racing Team - Maserati MC12 “The start was like me in Brno. We did our normal start. Okay, we lost a position against the Nissan, but fortunately, after two laps, I overtook the car before the last couple of corners."

Andrea Bertolini - Vitaphone Racing Team - Maserati MC12
That was good because when I overtook the Nissan, the race was different. I was free and I did my laptime free. This was also good for the front tyres, because if I was stuck behind another car, I’d lose because of the down force, and we have a lot of understeer. Everything was perfect. Even for car nr2. And after I saw in my mirror that it had a crash with Piccini, I don’t know what happened. But Piccini also tried to overtake me, in corner 15, which is impossible. But it’s not my problem. We’ve scored points, 25 points, and it was good. It’s good because we never score enough points on Sunday for our idea. Now we’re here finally. It’s more important than a normal victory. The team was perfect again. The pit was really quick. I think we did it in 26 seconds. This is a key one for this championship, because you can see we’re really close. We have really good fighting with all the cars. But when you’re in the first 2 or 3 rows and race against the professional drivers, it’s good. It’s much worse when you start from the back, because for some people, their helmet is too tight or it’s too warm in the car."

Michael Bartels - Vitaphone Racing Team - Maserati MC12
I think my stint looked easy, but the conditions out there were quite difficult. I think this is the 5th or 6th time I’ve had a race under these conditions in all my racing life, because Bucharest was similar in 2008. We had a good pitstop. The guys did a great job. I was concentrating to have a quick out lap, because I knew the Corvette was close behind, and I had to push immediately to get a second or two in front, and it all worked well. At the end of my stint I was really taking care of the tyres, because we knew that at the end, with this asphalt temperature, the tyres are really working on the limit. I think this is also an incredibly good sign for the Michelin people to have tyres working at this performance on these performing cars, and the quality of tyres is really incredibly high. Until the end, everything worked fine. Of course, in the last 2 laps, you’re trying to bring it home. But before I was never sure how long my tyres would last, the Corvette was doing the same speed, I could see it in the gap, but it’s a great day, a great victory. I’m happy to have also this year, in the new era of GT1 championship a victory in my pocket; it feels fantastic. But there is still a long season if you calculate how many points there are to score still, around 200 or something. We’re still far away. These points mean nothing so far, and I think the championship will remain open until the last two races.

Altfrid Heger - Triple H Team Hegersport - Maserati MC12
I’m very happy. After I finished professional racing 10 years ago, it was my hope and my wish to come on the podium this year. Of course, you have to be lucky. But you also need a really good car, a good team. I followed the order of Maserati. I slept really well last night, and so I was really relaxed during the start. This was maybe why nothing happened. I think everyone was really fair. We didn’t have much space, but space enough to survive. I would like to explain what I mean when I followed the order of Maserati. Maurizio asked me to stay ahead of the nr5 at the start, I did; my engineer told me please finish on the podium, we did. I must say, Alex and me were working really great together this weekend. I’m really happy with our result.

Alexander Margaritis - Triple H Team Hegersport - Maserati MC12
The last couple of laps were very hard for us. Like the others, we had problems with the tyres, had a lot of oversteering. I started with the nr40 Ford coming closer and closer, gaining 4 tenths a lap, the lights in my rear view mirrors. I tried to push, but not to over push the rear tyres, because I know that if they went off once, I would be in the worse situation. I tried to keep my head down, switch the rearview mirror off. In the last laps, Grosjean went off, and I had a fight with him. I’m happy that he also blocked the nr40 car a bit, so I was a bit more free at the rear. The last lap was really long, the longest in the last year. I’m happy to be on the podium with my team mate Altfrid. We’ve been working together a long time. I think this weekend has been a race more or less without mistakes.

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