All Honda drivers currently without drives for 2018 season
The three leading Honda factory drivers Norbert Michelisz, Tiago Monteiro and Esteban Guerrieri are all presently without drives for 2018, as Honda’s commitment to next year’s championship is yet to be decided.
The new format for 2018 is set to be confirmed at next week’s FIA World Motor Sport Council, with the position on factory or factory-supported teams still unclear.
Although Honda have a car for next year’s much anticipated switch to TCR regulations, with Honda’s technical partner JAS Motorsport currently developing the tenth-generation Honda Civic FK7 Type R TCR, whether Honda will run a factory team, or support existing customer racing teams such as Michelisz’s M1RA team, the Belgian Boutsen Ginion Racing and/or TCR Germany and 2015 International Series champions Target Competition instead is still to be determined.
Michelisz finished second in this year’s drivers’ championship in his second season as a Honda factory driver, while Tiago Monteiro withdrew from the championship whilst leading mid-season after a crash in testing in Spain, and has been working on his recovery to be ready to race in 2018.
Monteiro’s substitute, Esteban Guerrieri, was also one of the revelations of the season, winning two races with the Campos Chevrolet Cruze before he was acquired by Honda, taking pole and victory in the final race in Qatar on his way to fourth in the championship, and also remarked his situation for next year is as uncertain.
Michelisz, who runs his own race team in the TCR International Series which won the teams’ title in its maiden season, admits his prospects are good, but his focus is to be a works driver in 2018.
“I don’t have a contract for next season, so I don’t really know,” Michelisz told TouringCarTimes.
“I’d like to continue as a race driver, but currently I’m not in a position to say how much of a possibility this is. I’d love to be part of the championship next year. With having a team, and being a works driver for Honda, I think I’m in a good position, but I don’t have much in my hands currently for next season, so let’s wait and see.”
Monteiro, who was present at a WTCC race for the first time since his testing crash in September, is also optimistic about 2018.
“I have no contract for next year, although my relationship with Honda is very good and we are talking about the future,” he said.
“It’s amazing also that I’ve been receiving a lot of phone calls with offers, so it’s great that people see me as a potential driver for next year.
“I’ve received more offers this year than the last two or three years. People saw I was in a good shape before (the accident), and they hope that I will be in good shape again, but I haven’t decided anything yet. I’m not in a rush, as now I have some more time to work on my recovery.”