Michal Makeš is second in the championship standings after the opening round of 2021 season at Hungaroring. How is he happy with the first round and what does he expect from the remainder of the season? He said that and much more in our interview.
Michal, you scored two podium results in the opening round of 2021 TCR Eastern Europe season at Hungaroring. In Race 1, you finished 2nd. In Race 2, you was 3rd. So how are you happy with the start of the season?
I´m happy with the start of the season and I´m also pleasantly surprised. After we did a new cat set-up, I didn´t expect myself immediately on the top. But of course, it can be even better.
In Race 1, you and Milovan Vesnić had a post-start incident. After that, you and him dropped down the order. Did you speak with him about it after the race? And how did it turn out?
We spoke about it after the race. It went normally. For sure, Milovan wasn´t very happy, because he lost more positions than me. But in the end, it was a racing incident and it wasn´t intentional from either of us.
From this year, we have a reversed grid for Race 2. Six to ten best drivers from Race 1 will reverse on Race 2 grid. At Hungaroring, you started from 8th place in Race 2, but you progressed to 3rd position. What is the key to success in Race 2 according to you?
The most important thing is to move forward as quick as possible, because the longer you fight someone, the more the tires are destroying and it´s quite a hassle at the end of the race. So you need a good start and to be in the right place at the right moment. But it will be more difficult in next races. Me, Tomáš (Tomáš Pekař – editorial note) and Milovan (Milovan Vesnić – editorial note) will receive 60 kg extra. Lukasz (Lukasz Stolarczyk – editorial note) will get 30 kg extra. It will have a big impact on the life of the tires.
Was there any difference between your approach to Race 1 and your approach to Race 2 at Hungaroring?
Not at all.
You were reserved in terms of your ambitions before the start of the season. What do you expect now? Do you believe you can achieve his first victory or even fight for the championship title?
It´s too early to talk about the fight for the title. We will know more in the middle of the season. We will see who will have what lead and where I will be. My target is to be on the podium regularly and of course, I would like to achieve a victory.
Tomáš Pekař dominated at Hungaroring. He won qualifying and both races. What did make that difference between Tomáš and other drivers at Hungaroring according to you?
Tomáš was always at the right time in the right place in both races at Hungaroring. Especially in Race 2, he was able to move forward very quickly. He has a lot of experience and he didn´t make any mistake as well. But I hope I will make it harder for him at Slovakiaring.
Given your previous results and achievements, we could expect you, Tomáš Pekař and Milovan Vesnić will be the biggest favourites before the season. We can say that it was confirmed at Hungaroring. But except for you, Pekař and Vesnić, Lukasz Stolarczyk also fought for the top positions at Hungaroring. He shone especially in Race 2, where he finished 2nd. Do you believe he can join the championship fight?
As I said, it´s too early to talk about the championship fight. At the moment, it seems that me, Pekař, Vesnić and Stolarczyk will fight for the podium most often a I think we will be the top four drivers in the end. But we receive the extra weight according to results, so it will be more difficult in next races.
Except for you, Pekař, Vesnić and Stolarczyk, do you think is there anyone other who can join the championship fight?
We will see at Slovakiaring. But according to current results, I think the championship fight will be between the four of us. We will know more after the extra weight will shuffle in order.
Is any circuit in our calendar, where do you believe you can be particularly strong and where are you looking forward to?
I always look forward to Grobnik. It´s an adrenaline and fast circuit with a great and technical Turn 1.
And is there any circuit you are worried about?
Poznan will be a brand new circuit for many of us and we will have to learn it. I hope I will do well there.