WTCR Fast Five with Gabriele Tarquini
Part two of the 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO takes on even greater importance for Gabriele Tarquini as the BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse driver aims to get his title defence back on track, starting at next month’s WTCR Race of China.
In today’s WTCR Fast Five, the hugely experienced Italian talks racing against Schumacher and Senna in Formula One and why a future in team management might appeal when he calls time on his multiple title-winning career.
WTCR Race of China is about to start, what’s your must-do before taking to the track in your Hyundai i30 N TCR?
“I always have a different approach depending on the time we have. But I don’t have any special way to approach the race.”
Given the choice of two podium companions from any category, any era, who would you choose?
“If I must choose two it’s Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna. I raced with them, especially with Senna. I spent some seasons, with different results, but at the same time we were on the same track and he was somebody I liked a lot. I started knowing Senna from karting. He was racing in Italy at my time. And Michael because we shared a lot of time outside racing, especially football, because he loves football. We have this drivers’ national team in Italy, and I am one of the people who made it and we had a very big push when Michael joined us. I spent a lot of time with him and I would be very pleased to share the podium with Senna and Schumacher.”
What’s the story behind your race number?
“To be honest I don’t have what I call my number. I’ve raced with 2, with 3. When I start with Hyundai because of the i30 I choose 30. I won title with the 30 so 30 is probably my lucky number.”
Let’s say it’s time to stop racing. How will you fill your time?
“When I was 35, 38 I was doing for Italian TV the Formula One commentator job because I was thinking to stop racing in two or three years, but I have become too old to be back on TV! I would be very pleased to stay in racing, to run a team or a manufacturer for two or three seasons just to have the experience.”
Ten great tracks appear on the WTCR / OSCARO schedule but if you could pick one more venue what would it be?
“Mugello. For me it’s one of the best tracks in the world and I’m very pleased every time I am driving there. For me Mugello and Suzuka, where we are racing in WTCR, are the best tracks in the world.”