Carlos Sainz, Marc Márquez and José Miguel Aparicio Highlight Importance of Teamwork to Achieve Best Results

  • Carlos Sainz, champion of the Dakar 2024 Rally with Audi Sport: “In a race like the Dakar, each member of the team is vital and necessary”
  • Marc Márquez, MotoGP rider: “The union is strength, no matter how much you want to pull the boat by yourself, you can’t”
  • José Miguel Aparicio, General Director of Audi Spain: “At Audi we are clear that our history of innovation and progress cannot be built without a team spirit”
  • The video will be available on Audi’s different social media channels and can be viewed at the following link (in Spanish HERE)

[source: Audi Spain]

Madrid, Spain – Carlos Sainz, champion of the Dakar 2024 Rally with Audi Sport; Marc Márquez, driver of Team Gresini Racing of MotoGP at the helm of a Ducati; and José Miguel Aparicio, General Director of Audi Spain, star in a new Audi Talks meeting. The three analyze, each from their point of view and experience, how teamwork is the only way to obtain the best results.

Carlos Sainz and Marc Márquez, two of the best active Spanish pilots and references each in their specialty, share values such as overcoming, the pursuit of excellence in each competition in which they participate and perseverance. In addition, Sainz and Márquez have in common the fact that they belong to the Audi family.

Carlos Sainz is not only considered one of the best rally drivers in the world, but also one of the best Spanish athletes of all time. The Madrid native, two-time world champion of rallying, won his fourth Dakar Rally last January, breaking down all possible barriers and myths at the wheel of the Audi RS Q e-tron after an excellent work of the Audi Sport team, both in the technical and human aspects. Never before had a manufacturer won this competition with an electrified vehicle.

For his part, Marc Márquez decided to face the challenge of changing teams after having won six MotoGP titles and having spent more than two years marked by falls and injuries. Marc chose to join Team Gresini Racing to ride a Ducati Desmosedici this season and, as he himself has said on several occasions, enjoy the bike again. This past weekend and only after four races, Márquez has returned to the podium. The driver from Cervera (Lleida), who also has a collaboration agreement with Audi to be the image of the brand in Spain, has also been linked to the family of the four rings.

During the match, held on a stage where competition is breathed on every corner such as Carlos Sainz Karting Madrid, the two drivers and José Miguel Aparicio, Director of Audi Spain, talk relaxed about different aspects of the sport, but also about how the two champions overcome together with their respective teams the obstacles they have to face to achieve the best results.

At the beginning of the talk, José Miguel Aparicio welcomes Márquez to the Audi family: “We are very proud that you ride a Ducati, a brand that has belonged to Audi since 2012 and that, since January 1, 2024, is in a new stage in Spain, because it is part of Volkswagen Spain Distribution and the Audi team. Ducati is at the best moment in its history, both from the point of view of product, technological, financial and also in terms of victories.”

About his signing for a new team, Marc explains: “When you have a bad time, what you are looking for is to change to find confidence. With confidence you dare to do different things; what I intend is to grow and find that trust.” Although the MotoGP rider admits that he has had to “unlearn” some details of his routine, he is ready to continue his adaptation to a new motorcycle and a new team.

Both Sainz and Márquez have decades of experience in motorsport and motorcycling respectively, which has allowed them to witness the technological evolution that both disciplines have experienced. “The motorcycles have changed a lot since my beginning. In fact, the 125 cc were rolling in Jerez during the tests in the time of the 500 cc of when I started… and we are talking about 20 years of difference,” says Márquez. In this regard, Sainz adds: “I have been lucky enough to have driven both a standard SEAT Panda that I started with, and the Audi RS Q e-tron of the Dakar, which is the most advanced thing a car can be today.”

During the conversation, José Miguel Aparicio asks Carlos to mention a quality of Márquez and vice versa. Showing the good harmony between them, the two-time rally champion points out: “Marc is so good, that he would choose everything, because he is able to get on a motorcycle and mark a new path in terms of riding, he never gives up.” For his part, Marc points out about Sainz: “For me, his key quality is clear: ambition; in short, do not lose the spark of the sport.”

Teamwork, key to Audi Sport’s victory in the Dakar Rally
Audi Sport’s feat in the Dakar Rally can be defined as a team victory. Without the work of the other two members of the team, Stéphane Peterhansel and Mattias Ekström, who supported Carlos Sainz when they no longer had the opportunity to fight for first place, the victory would have been impossible. The image of the three Audi RS Q e-tron stopped in the middle of a stage to rescue Sainz when the Spanish driver no longer had tires, will remain for Audi’s history, since without that moment victory would have been impossible.

In this regard, José Miguel Aparicio, who was able to live this milestone ‘in situ’, points out: “They told us that, in addition to having the best driver in the Dakar, we had the best team. Having a good team is very important when you compete. We have the example of Ekström, when at a certain moment he stopped to give up his tires to Carlos.” Sainz, for his part, admitted that he would have done the same if he had no options to achieve the victory, and valued the work of the entire Audi Sport team: “For everything to work well and you get a victory in the Dakar, which lasts two weeks and is celebrated once a year, knowing that if you fail you will have to wait a year, each member of the team is vital and necessary.”

Márquez shares this same vision and adds: “In the end, union makes strength; no matter how much you want to pull the boat alone, you can’t. It is very important that each technician has the peace of mind that they can fail. They want the best for you, and if they fail you have to address them with the right words. This attitude will make the team stronger.” For Aparicio: “At Audi we are clear that our history of innovation and progress cannot be built without equipment; the team is above everything.”

Both Marc and Carlos are aware that the way they face each situation contributes to the achievement of sports objectives. Sainz himself remembers how before this Dakar he asked his co-pilot, Lucas Cruz, to scold him when he didn’t follow his instructions or “didn’t do what he had to do.” In the end, the four-time champion admits, “it has been a Dakar where we have enjoyed and in which he has scolded me the most.” For his part, Márquez adds: “The first thing you have to do is sit with people, be one more, and if I do something wrong or another pilot goes faster in a curve, let them tell me.”

José Miguel Aparicio: “At Audi we are not afraid of failure”
Throughout their respective sports races, Marc and Carlos have had to face very challenging situations, including injuries, accidents and hard defeats. All of them have been opportunities to return stronger. José Miguel Aparicio asked them if abandoning has ever been among their plans. For Sainz, who suffered an injury during the Dakar 2023, retirement was not an option: “There was one year left of the project and I don’t like to leave things halfway. Sometimes it’s easy to throw in the towel. In my case, I knew from minute one, once I recovered from the injury, that I wanted to try.”

Márquez admits that he did consider abandonment, but he chose not to make a hurried decision: “Every time I came out of an injury I wanted to get on the motorcycle and I didn’t imagine a life without competing, without that adrenaline, so I think there is still rope.” In this regard, Aparicio asks the pilots if it is worse to drive with fear or with pain, and both agree in their answer: “It conditions driving more with mental doubts than with physical pain, because adrenaline is the best analgesic,” Márquez admits.

After winning the Dakar Rally in 2024, Audi will join Formula 1 in 2026. About this challenge, José Miguel Aparicio points out: “We at Audi are not very afraid of failure either: in 2026 we entered Formula 1, and this is a project where there is a lot of risks, as we did in the Dakar with technology. Innovation is in our DNA, but F1 is a huge challenge.”

Sainz, who knows well about Audi’s potential in competition, recognizes the courage of the project: “I trust the Volkswagen Group a lot and I know what it is capable of: I have been lucky enough to be with the Group in its first victory in the Dakar and in the last. And about Audi, who doesn’t remember the Audi quattro, or its victory in Le Mans with a diesel prototype. Audi has always sought technological excellence and courage in challenges. Entering F1 is not going to be easy, it’s not going to be a road of roses, but to compete you need courage; if you don’t have it, you better stay at home.”

To conclude the talk, José Miguel Aparicio defines the Dakar Rally project as epic, of which they have been part with Sainz: “It has been a team experience. Of innovation. And also a lot of suffering until the last moment.” At the same time, he shared with Márquez the desire to build a relationship with Audi and the family spirit that characterizes them, and wished the two champions many successes in the future.

The Audi Talks video with the talk between Carlos Sainz, Marc Márquez and José Miguel Aparicio is available on the Audi Spain channel on YouTube at the following link ( si=xUDxmJtg5aUGtZ4H) and can be seen on the different digital channels and on the social networks of Audi Spain.

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