Honda responds to Volvo WTCC organisation claims

JAS Motorsport's Alessandro Mariani says he was "amazed" by Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin's suggestion that Volvo's structure compared to Honda was key to its 2017 World Touring Car Championship success

Honda responds to Volvo WTCC organisation claims

The Polestar-run Volvo team beat Honda to the manufacturers' title at the Qatar season finale, while Thed Bjork also defeated Norbert Michelisz in the drivers' standings by 28.5 points after the Honda driver suffered a master cylinder failure in qualifying.

Michelisz became Honda's leading title contender after Tiago Monteiro, who led the championship before the mid-season break, was involved in a testing crash at Barcelona that ruled him out for the remainder of the season.

Honda drivers also claimed six victories to the four Bjork, Nicky Catsburg and Nestor Girolami managed for Volvo in 2017.

Responding to Murdzevski Schedvin's comments that Polestar's place in Volvo's set-up had played an important part in securing both titles, Mariani said a depiction of "chaos" at Honda had instead highlighted one of the JAS-run squad's biggest attributes.

"I read his statements [in the article] and honestly, I smiled," said Mariani in a statement issued to Autosport.

"He said that in Honda there is chaos and that we cannot understand each other. How then, does he explain the fact that we managed to get more victories and pole positions then Volvo during the season?

"On top of this, we have a great harmony in the team between the staff.

"We've had to change the driver line-up after Tiago's accident, but the guys that have come in [Gabriele Tarquini and Esteban Guerrieri] have always adapted perfectly, which has allowed us to manage at the best the situations on the track and to overcome difficult moments.

"I was amazed by his negative observation on what has actually been a great strength; being able to integrate various cultures within the team.

"We've benefitted from a variety of different working methods and this has helped to make us race winners every year for the past five seasons."

As well as Monteiro's accident, Mariani (above, middle) cited the opening race in Japan - in which Catsburg and Girolami both received drivethrough penalties for incidents with Ryo Michigami and Michelisz respectively - as a critical influence on the final standings.

"The final result of 2017 is still frustrating to all of us, because it was decided by several isolated episodes," continued Mariani.

"Tiago was clearly leading the championship before being forced to forfeit the second half of the season due to injury.

"If you look at the numbers, you can see that we were clearly the strongest team.

"The Motegi opening race was a snapshot of the season-long behaviour of both teams.

"No Honda has hit one of their cars at all in 2017, yet in Japan alone all three of their drivers hit all three Hondas.

"Without the points we lost as a result of this, we would have gone to Qatar pretty much equal on points, and that would have changed the dynamic totally."

shares
comments
Volvo reckons team structure defeated Honda in 2017 WTCC

Previous article

Volvo reckons team structure defeated Honda in 2017 WTCC

Load comments

About this article

Series WTCC
Author Jack Cozens
Why joker laps are entering the mainstream Plus

Why joker laps are entering the mainstream

This season the World Touring Car Championship looks certain to bring joker laps to a circuit-racing world championship for the first time. And it need not be the daft gimmick people may think

WTCC
Apr 6, 2017
The making of the world's best tin-top driver Plus

The making of the world's best tin-top driver

He has been overshadowed at Citroen for the last three seasons, but the retirement of Yvan Muller means the world says farewell to one of touring-car racing's finest talents

WTCC
Sep 26, 2016
Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC Plus

Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC

Volvo gave the World Touring Car Championship a major boost when it announced it would enter the series, but its ambitions don't stop there. JACK COZENS examines its programme, the S60 and what its arrival means for the WTCC

WTCC
Jan 18, 2016
The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off Plus

The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off

A 17-car field on a 13-mile track - the WTCC's Nurburgring Nordschleife gamble wasn't going to be easy to pull off. STUART CODLING explains how the series made it work

WTCC
May 20, 2015
Insight from a Nordschleife master Plus

Insight from a Nordschleife master

World championship racing returns to the Nordschleife this weekend. STUART CODLING got a lesson from one of the legendary track's few masters

WTCC
May 15, 2015
Becoming world champion for £100k Plus

Becoming world champion for £100k

The 2012 World Touring Car champion says he never had the money to race cars. Yet 2015 is his 11th season in the WTCC. He talks STUART CODLING through his journey from motorsport fan to paid professional - for little more than £100,000

WTCC
Mar 23, 2015
Can the vanquished champion bounce back? Plus

Can the vanquished champion bounce back?

The World Touring Car Championship kicks off in Argentina this weekend, and Yvan Muller bids to reclaim his throne from Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez. He talks to STUART CODLING

WTCC
Mar 6, 2015
The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014 Plus

The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014

Citroen had no rivals during the 2014 World Touring Car Championship, and 'rookie' Jose Maria Lopez hit the ground running to emerge as a worthy champion. PETER MILLS rates the field

WTCC
Dec 3, 2014