2016: the hat-trick!

Round 1 – Circuit Paul Ricard

I took a few risks at the start of the main race and I was happy to find myself out in front, ahead of Yvan. The weight difference with the other cars was just too big, and that’s what allowed Tiago to go past Yvan and gain ground on me. The last few laps were intense, it wasn’t easy to stay in front. Once again, a massive ‘well done’ to Citroën! We knew it was going to be difficult, but we leave here leading the World Championship.

Round 2 – Slovakia Ring

I’m happy to be driving a Citroën that is so quick… and so solid! The start of the main race was important. I got away perfectly and managed to take the lead. I pushed hard to open up a bit of an advantage over the first two laps. Then I felt some major vibrations in the rear left of my car. Something was broken but I tried to stay focused. Nick seemed to be struggling at the end. I managed to get past him, but it was really tight right down to the wire!

Round 3 – Hungaroring

My win in the main race was one of the trickiest of my career. I never felt totally comfortable, particularly when I was put under pressure first by Yvan, and then by Rob! Obviously, the penalty handed to Huff gave me a little breathing space at the end of the race. I am really very happy to have won in these conditions. Race after race, there are new pitfalls to evade, and we managed to evade them successfully in this race.

Round 4 – Marrakech

My second place in the opening race was an excellent result given my grid position. The first lap was like a street fight. Thereafter, I knew overtaking would be impossible. In the main race, I managed to get the better of Tiago, but then it was my turn to make a mistake. Still, I’m satisfied with my weekend. The aim was to stretch my lead at the top of the World Championship, and I have done that.

Round 5 – Nürburgring

It’s really special to win both races on this track. I did it in 2014 at Termas de Río Hondo, but I didn’t dare dream of it here, especially with 80kg of ballast. In the main race, I got a good start, but Norbi’s was even better. I managed to get back in front and from then on I tried to keep up a good pace. At the halfway point of the season, the 55 points I’ve scored this weekend have given me a huge boost in the overall standings.

Round 6 – Moscow Raceway

These two races were really tough. The grip deteriorated lap after lap and I wasn’t able to hold our rivals at bay. These things happen. We just need to understand why. At the same time, it has not been a bad weekend, as I have widened the gap at the top of the World Championship!

Round 7 – Vila Real

I made a few little mistakes over the weekend. I didn’t manage to find my usual confidence level with the car. But you have to look at the positives. Despite tricky starting positions, I produced two sensible races to pick up two fifth places. With a 101-point lead, I’m feeling calm and confident. In previous years, I had nowhere near the same advantage at the same stage!

Round 8 – Termas de Río Hondo

This weekend was really positive, results-wise. It was also a really emotional moment to win in front of my home crowd again. Norbi got a great start in the main race, a bit like at the Nürburgring. He then defended his position perfectly. I must thank Yvan. I think it would have been a lot harder for me to win had it not been for his move on Norbi. A pole position, a win and a fifth place bring me a little closer to my goal of a third consecutive title!

Round 9 – Motegi

I must be one of the happiest men in the world tonight! I’ve had three fantastic seasons with Citroën Racing and I think a lot of drivers would love to be in my shoes. Competing in the WTCC has been a great opportunity for me in my career, but I am most indebted to the team. As regards my gesture for Yvan, it was a way of showing the respect that I have for him. I’ll keep fighting in the last few races – apart from anything else, we still have work to do to win the Manufacturers’ title.

Round 10 – Shanghai

It has been a fantastic weekend for all of us. We were the fastest out there. There was no pressure on me, as I knew I could get the better of Catsburg at the start of the main race. After that, I just tried to enjoy every lap in the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC. What a fantastic car! It’s not often you get the opportunity to go out and win like that, without having to worry about anything whatsoever.

Round 12 – Losail

It wasn’t an easy last race for us! In any case, we can be proud of what we have all accomplished together. Tonight, I’m not really thinking about me. I’m thinking about Yvan. I want to thank him for what he has given me. I have learnt a lot from working with him and I have enormous respect for him. He has decided to bow out of motorsport while he’s still at the stop and I wish him all the best in his new life.

 

1

Qualifying

6

Opening race

1

Main race

3

Qualifying

5

Opening race

1

Main race

1

Qualifying

14

Opening race

1

Main race

4

Qualifying

2

Opening race

4

Main race

1

Qualifying

1

Opening race

1

Main race

6

Qualifying

5

Opening race

8

Main race

5

Qualifying

5

Opening race

5

Main race

1

Qualifying

5

Opening race

1

Main race

1

Qualifying

4

Opening race

2

Main race

1

Qualifying

4

Opening race

1

Main race

3

Qualifying

9

Opening race

3

Main race

Success rates

Wins 36%
Pole positions 63%
Fastest laps 36%
Podiums 45%
Laps led 25%
Top 10 finishes 95%

Points evolution

  • Pechito
  • Muller
  • Monteiro