WTCC »

Zanardi admits he's confused by 'retirement' talk

FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) BMW Team Italy-Spain star Alex Zanardi speaks out to correct reports that 'misrepresent' what he said in Macau - and insists he is not in any way ready to retire from motor racing just yet...
Alex Zanardi has reacted with some surprise to stories circulating that he has hung up his racing helmet following the end of the 2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) campaign – insisting that he is 'still too young and strong' to call it a day just yet.

The popular Italian finished twelfth in the final 2009 WTCC standings, with a clear highlight of victory at Brno in the Czech Republic mid-season – but no further podium finishes throughout, and far too many failures to score at all for his liking.

That allegedly prompted the BMW Team Italy-Spain star to announce his 'retirement' from competition after the Macau finale just over a week ago – but whilst he acknowledges that he is unlikely to be seen in the WTCC again, Zanardi is adamant that he hopes to carry on racing in one form or another.

“Like probably some of you did, I have also read the news of my 'retirement' from the WTCC which has appeared, at various times, on news channels,” the 43-year-old – who lost both of his legs in a terrifying CART accident at the Eurospeedway Lausitz in 2001 – wrote on his personal website. “I feel that a more precise explanation is needed, since the perception from the reported news misrepresents, in my opinion, not only my real thoughts but also the way things happened.

“I have been racing in the WTCC since 2005 as part of a prestigious programme organised by BMW Italy and, despite being certain of giving a lot to the series in terms of communication and media exposure due to a popularity that goes beyond what I have achieved as a sportsman, I recognise that I have also had a lot in return from the series and have found in it the ideal ground to win, with hard work, new challenges.

“The extremely high level of competitiveness, the value of the opponents that I challenged, the beauty of the race tracks we battled on and the difficult task of combining all this with my personal problems make my victories in the WTCC some of the best results I achieved in my career.

“This is the reason why I would be happy to keep on racing in a category that for a driver can be rightly considered as an end point and not necessarily a transition point, but probably – nothing is decided yet – strategic choices of BMW Italy will not allow me to do so.

“I answered a precise question from a journalist in Macau that it's 99 per cent [certain] I will not be racing in the WTCC in 2010. This does not mean announcing my retirement at all, but instead giving an honest answer to a precise question that, avoiding rhetoric, implies a bit of regret for what this will involve.

“I do not know what I am going to do next year. What is certain is that I see myself as still too 'young' and strong to hang up my racing helmet. On the contrary, I hope I can find together with BMW the way to keep challenging, even more directly and without excuses, the strongest opponents – even if this will mean risking getting a good beating... I could not ask for anything better!”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Alex Zanardi - BMW 320si [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Start of the Paul Ricard WTCC race [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Gabriele Tarquini - Honda Racing Civic [credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Sebastien Loeb - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Rob Huff - LADA Granta TC1 [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Sebastien Loeb - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Sebastien Loeb - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Tom Coronel will taste life on the other side of the microphone at Paul Ricard`s WTCC round
Rickard Rydell signs with NIKA Racing [pic credit: NIKA Racing]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Sebastien Loeb - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Tom Coronel - ROAL Chevrolet Cruze [pic credit: FIA WTCC]

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


dean o - Unregistered

November 30, 2009 8:05 PM

yes what rawdog said keep going alex your a true star and proof of that is still being able to win despite the most horrific injuries to overcome



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.