Yvan Muller, Ma Qinghua and Mikel Azcona attended the Race 1 press conference at WTCR Race of China. A transcript follows.
FIA WTCR Race of China
WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO 2019
Rounds 19, 20 and 21 of 30, Ningbo International Speedpark, 14 September
Media Centre, Ningbo International Speedpark, 14 September
Yvan Muller, Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, first position
Ma Qinghua, Team Mulsanne, second position
Mikel Azcona, PWR Racing, third position
Yvan, you’ve waited 19 races for this moment and at Lynk & Co’s home circuit you have won. But Ma Qinghua chased you hard. How intense was that for you?
It was very intense because I knew at the end of the race it would be complicated with our car because our car is heavy so we are harder on the tyres. I was looking after the tyres all the way through. But at one point during the race I asked my engineer how many laps were left and he told me six. I though oh shit, that will be long! And it was long, very long, even until the end and the last sector, but I was defending. Anything could happen.
The team celebrated with Lynk & Co’s employees. This must have been very special at Lynk & Co’s home track.
Yeah, if there was one race to win this year it would have been this one because we are in China, driving a Chinese car and Geely Group are 10 minutes away from here. So this was the race to win.
Ma, that was a great battle trying to beat Yvan, the world’s most successful touring car drive. You never let him go and you must be pleased with your drive.
First of all I want to say thanks to my team and thanks to my family and friends and all the people who have supported me at my home race. I’m really happy today to finish on the podium in second place. Yes, that was a really hard race today, hot as you can see. This track is really critical on tyres, so that was a tough race, especially when you start the race side by side with Yvan. You know that is not going to be easy. He was very stable and didn’t make any mistakes, so I could not do the overtake because our race pace was really similar. Anyway, I’m really happy and proud to be here and today is Race 1. It’s not the end of the weekend and we have two rounds to go tomorrow, so let’s see.
Mikel, the two gentlemen next to you have raced here before, but you never have and you finished third and now you are up to third in the WTCR / OSCARO standings in your first season in the series. A great day for you?
Thank you very much. First of all, congratulations to Muller and Ma Qinghua, they did a very good race. This is unbelievable to be here in a podium position on my first time in Ningbo. It is not an easy track. I am very happy. Me and my team, we did a really good job because at home I train a lot with my simulator and my team did a really good car to be on the top positions. So this is amazing, to be in a podium position for Cupra and PWR. I am very happy for that. Now we have two races to go tomorrow and we need to continue in this line to get some more points.