Caruso "not stressed" about future
- By V8 Supercars
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Michael Caruso admits Saturday's race at Ipswich was "no doubt" the one that got away.
However, the Norton Hornet driver said he was proud of the job his team was doing, after a front row start on Saturday and his teammate James Moffat bagging his first ARMOR ALL Pole Position on Sunday.
Caruso - who is out of contract with the Nissan squad at the end of the season -said the result definitely added to the reasons to stay with the team.
However, when first asked about the weekend's impact on his future, the #36 driver answered in reference to his ability to perform, after a dive on good mate Scott McLaughlin potentially cost him a race win on Saturday.
"I doubt results change people's perception of my ability -I think everybody knows I'm quite capable of winning races, and I think everybody knows the position our car's in at the moment, so we'll see how we go in the next few weeks," Caruso told v8supercars.com.au.
"The main thing for me is continuing to do a good job in the car."
Caruso emphasised he did want to remain with the four-car squad, however, earlier this year said he would be looking for a multi-year deal this time around.
"I'd love to stay. There's a lot of things that need to happen for that to happen.
"But I don't think anyone at the team, nor I, are quite stressed about it at the moment.
"Everybody knows -I think everybody wants the same thing and I think we'll just work through it at the same time keep doing what we're doing."
With 22 cars separated by 0.5 of a second in one of the weekend's qualifying session, Caruso marveled at the closeness of V8 Supercars racing, noting how difficult it was to jag a race win, with starting at the front no guarantee of a podium.
With 11 different winners this season, seven of the top 10 drivers in the Championship from different teams and a win from all five manufacturers in the past 12 months, it's not wonder Caruso highlighted the difficulty in theChampionship his former boss Garry Rogers recently called the best sedan-based category in the world.
"I think it's quite obvious that race wins don't come around all the time - we probably saw that (Sunday) with Moff," Caruso said.
"He did a great job in qualifying, put it on pole, and that's sort of been the case in the category - it doesn't guarantee you a race win.
"So to be in a position that we were having enough speed and in a position to win the race, and not having that race win is disappointing, but encouraging at the same time, because I think that as a team we showed we're progressing well. Particularly on my car because I think we've been doing a pretty decent job considering the last two rounds we've virtually had two DNFs and we're still 12th in the Championship."
Caruso managed a top 10 finish on 'double points' Sunday, though Saturday he tumbled from second - making a move on first -to finish 24th after a drive-through penalty.
After the incident, the Norton driver refused to speak to TV and media until a time after the race, so he could see good friend McLaughlin and compose himself before giving comment.
"What people probably didn't understand was I was quite frustrated, considering I had a clash with a good friend.
"So I just wanted to gather my thoughts and calm down and obviously I had a chat with Scotty, which was good - I went straight there after the race and spoke with him and we sorted it out -which was good. I guess at the end of the day we've moved on and we're back racing.
"What made it a lot easier was that Scotty was an absolute champion and showed why he's such a good bloke. Obviously we are good mates and that's what made it so strange, and that was the last thing I wanted to clash with a friend... but I think we showed on Sunday it doesn't affect us on track."