Tarquini puts future plans on hold

World Touring Car champion Gabriele Tarquini says he wants to wait a month before deciding on his future plans, despite capturing the crown in Macau on Sunday

Tarquini puts future plans on hold

The Italian beat his SEAT team-mate Yvan Muller to the WTCC title after a season-long battle - but his plans for next year remain up in the air as SEAT's future touring car plans have not yet been confirmed.

Tarquini has insisted that he does not want to retire yet, but says he needs time to reflect on what he wants to do in the future.

"My target and my goal was to win the world title, because maybe it was my last chance as I am not very young anymore," he said. "For the future I don't know. I just want to have a holiday now, 20 or 30 days to think about my future, and I am sure it is the best way to have this rest with the title in my hands."

When asked by AUTOSPORT whether he wanted to continue in the WTCC, Tarquini said: "I hope so. I don't want to stop. I want to just rest now, because after a great win you need something to repair the pressure.

"It was a big pressure this weekend, especially after Japan which was not very good for me. Yvan recovered a lot of points, so coming here in Macau we know it is a very difficult and tricky track, and with two points it was nothing. It was even one point, because Yvan had one more victory than me, so the real difference was just one point."

Tarquini also revealed that in the immediate aftermath of his qualifying crash with Muller that he thought his title hopes were finished because his car appeared to be so badly damaged.

"When I started crashing, I was not really happy," he said. "In free practice it was my mistake, and in qualifying I don't know if you saw it - but it was not possible to do anything.

"I went through a complete fog, it was like driving with your eyes closed, in fourth gear speed at full throttle, and Yvan's car was straight across the track. I had five metres to react, and brake as much as possible, but there was nothing I could do to avoid the accident. Even for Alain [Menu], it was practically impossible to avoid the accident.

"After that accident, when I saw the car, I immediately thought that the championship was over. But the guys, when I came out of the hospital, they said don't worry, the crash is big but the damage is less than in the morning.

"I was really surprised and I asked them if they were sure about it. They said: 'yeah, no problem, we will rebuild the car like new.' And to be honest, I was really surprised with the car in the warm-up because it was fantastic."

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