Ex-Formula 1 racer Gianni Morbidelli unlikely to be in 2015 WTCC

Ex-Formula 1 racer Gianni Morbidelli doubts he will remain in the World Touring Car Championship for 2015, with the Munnich team looking for a funded driver instead

Ex-Formula 1 racer Gianni Morbidelli unlikely to be in 2015 WTCC

Team boss Rene Munnich is unwilling to finance a professional driver in his second car again next year, as he believes the Chevrolet Cruze will no longer challenge for podiums.

The decision potentially leaves Morbidelli out in the cold.

"The situation for next year is a shame, but I have to be realistic," the Italian, who returned to the WTCC in 2014 after winning the '13 Superstars title, told AUTOSPORT.

"I am very honest with myself. I still feel I can drive and have motivation and passion, but it is a job for me.

"I can drive and have a small salary but it is the only job that I am doing.

"I have to understand in the next couple of months if there is any chance to continue. If I can find a solution I will carry on, if not I have to accept I need to change my job or see what else to do.

"I am 46 years old, nearly 47. If I look at Gabriele [Tarquini, who is 53] life is still long here [in the WTCC], but it's not always like this, he is an exception.

"Let's see, I hope to be racing somewhere."

AUTOSPORT's top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014

Munnich, who is also planning a World Rallycross programme in 2015, doubts the Chevrolet will be competitive enough to make funding a driver of Morbidelli's calibre again next year worthwhile

"To make a pro car with Chevrolet does not really make sense because the car is not really competitive enough to have podiums," he said.

"If I have to spend one million euro for a pro driver to be, I don't know, eighth, ninth or 10th, nobody will notice."

Morbidelli became the first man to defeat the dominant Citroens in 2014 when he won at the Hungaroring.

He said he had thoroughly enjoyed 2014 even if it proved to be a shortlived return to international racing.

ARCHIVE: When Morbidelli raced for Ferrari in F1

"It was a great season. The performance levels were up and down but the atmosphere in the team was really like a family," said Morbidelli.

"I like it when it's like this and I have to say thanks to all of the staff, the engineers and obviously Rene for giving me the car.

"I enjoyed it, not just the win in Hungary but many other good moments.

"I had a lot to learn, as it was a different championship to what I'd been doing the previous six years."

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