WTCC Honda Huff move a good call, says Tarquini

"He was able to win in the past, he is a world champion like me"

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By Olivier Ferret

1 March 2016 - 09:26
WTCC Honda Huff move a good call, (...)

Honda Racing has made a “good choice” by adding Rob Huff to its FIA World Touring Car Championship line-up for 2016.

That’s according to Gabriele Tarquini, who has effectively swapped seats with Huff by joining LADA for the upcoming season after losing his Honda ride following three years of service to the Japanese make.

“For Honda it’s a good choice,” said Tarquini. “Rob is younger [than me] but with very long experience in WTCC. He was able to win in the past, he is a world champion like me. He’s a good person and maybe the right way to continue the way to the victory. Honda is a very strong manufacturer and Honda must win. They are not just there to compete and be happy to score podiums. The target must be the victory and to fight for the title. This is the target.”

While Tarquini has spoken of Honda’s “late decision” not to extend his contract for 2016, the 53-year-old insists he’s not bitter.

“I have no regret on the past, it’s a Honda decision,” said the Italian ex-Formula One racer. “They want to change the driver who makes all the test and all the development on the Civic because the result was not fantastic. For sure when the results are not there you must change something. At some point they decided to change me and I accept this decision without any problem. It’s sure they took the decision very late and this is the only regret I have. For the rest it was a good choice.”

Huff and Tarquini have had their share of on-track run-ins in the past but the Briton remains a fan of his rival. “What happens on track stays on track and when we’re off track we’re all very similar human beings,” said Huff. “We have very similar interests and that means we all tend to get on really well. I just feel very privileged that Honda have called on me to step into the car and I will do the best job I possibly can.”

Huff will link up with Norbert Michelisz and Tiago Monteiro at Honda while Tarquini will join forces with Nicky Catsburg and Hugo Valente at LADA.

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