Tiago Monteiro admits that the performance of the Spyker team this season has justified his decision not to take up a Formula 1 race seat with the team for 2007 and instead switch to the World Touring Car Championship.

Monteiro left the team at the end of 2006 when they were unable to provide certain guarantees into the future of the team and was replaced in the line-up by Adrian Sutil.

Although he came close to signing a deal with Toro Rosso, the Portuguese racer then elected to look away from Formula 1 and took up an offer from SEAT Sport to drive a Leon in the WTCC - a decision he feels had been vindicated by the tough season endured by the Spyker squad.

"When I said no to Spyker, it wasn't an easy decision to make as you are saying no to a Formula 1 team - no matter how bad things could be," he told Crash.net Radio during the British rounds of the WTCC at Brands Hatch. "You never know, they might have improved, but I had some good information from inside people that it was going to be a tough year and I couldn't afford to do that again.

"I look at how bad they are doing, or were doing before the B-spec car came out which should help things, and they were doing awfully and no-one was happy - so I'm glad I wasn't there. Personally it was a good decision but you are never sure, so many things could go wrong. I'm glad that it has paid off."

At the time of leaving the F1 paddock, Monteiro admitted that he would be working hard to return in 2008.

With that in mind, he added that there are some possibilities for next season that could see him back in Formula 1 - although he was quick to stress that he would happily remain in the WTCC for a second season if a deal wasn't possible, having quickly got to grips with the switch to touring cars.

"We are at the point where SEAT is happy with my work and other teams have been looking at my work," he said when quizzed about the future. "I am personally looking to seal the best for my future. Whatever I do, I want to be in a competitive team in a competitive position and enjoy myself as much as possible.

"In terms of Formula 1, it is the job of my management at the moment and they are 100 per cent focused on trying to get me back into F1. I am taking care of my WTCC commitments and doing the best I can for SEAT; that is all I am thinking about at the moment - the rest is down to my management.

"There are two real possibilities I would say, but in Formula 1, things change every day so I'm not going to say I'm 50 per cent, 80 per cent or 90 per cent towards something as every day and every week is different. If it happens, it will be in a competitive team or one that is more competitive, and I will be glad to do it. However, if it doesn't happen I will be more than happy to stay in the WTCC and I see no reason why I should change teams.

"I'm very happy and surprised as well [with how the switch to the WTCC has gone]. I think a lot of people wondered how quickly I was going to get used to it as drivers coming from single-seaters tend to a take a while to be on the pace. The Leon is such a different car and needs such a different style of driving that I expected it to take longer to be on the pace. Thankfully, I got used to the car quickly and was up to speed at the first race at Zandvoort.

"I'm happy with that and I am fighting for podiums. Now there is just the win that is missing, although it might not come this season as this is a tough series."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...