‘Meet the Crews’ –  after SS10

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 -WRC Mexico (MEX) – WRC 08/03/2018 to 11/03/2018 – PHOTO : @World

‘Meet the Crews’ –  after SS10

Friday, March 9th 2018

 

Present:

Michel Nandan – Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team

Pierre Budar – Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

Kai Lindström – Toyota GAZOO Racing World Rally Team

Malcolm Wilson – M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

 

1st Dani Sordo – Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team

2nd Sébastien Loeb – Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

3rd Ott Tänäk – Toyota GAZOO Racing World Rally Team

 

Q:

Michel, what a day it has been for Dani Sordo.You must be delighted with his progress?

 

MN:

Yes, of course, we are really pleased with the performance of Dani. We know he had a very good road position, He managed not to do any mistakes and managed to set some best times. Maybe he did a small mistake with the tyre choice on the second loop but he managed to keep his position.

 

Q:

It is a very nostalgic position for Dani to be leading. Can he hold on?

 

MN:

There is only a small gap between Dani and Seb, but there is also not many seconds between second and third place and even fourth place. It will be a big battle tomorrow.

 

Q:

Pierre, everyone was curious to see what would happen when a nine-time WRC champion returned to the WRC. Seb (Loeb) didn’t disappoint, did he?

 

PB:

I think everybody has been a bit surprised and maybe even Seb himself. Of course, we expect him to be in the good rhythm but we did not know when he would be as fast as his friends. Even when you look at his face when he discover that he had set a fastest time, he xas very suprised also.

 

Q:

What more can we expect from him?

 

PB:

Okay, I think it would be fantastic if he could manage to do it. Everything is possible with Seb, you know!

 

Q:

Kai, talk to me about Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi today. We don’t see either here at the end of the day. What happened?

 

KL:

It was disappointing for Jari-Matti. He finished stage eight and discovered that there was something wrong with the alternator and he was forced to stop in Guanajuato, so he is in Rally2 tomorrow. He was doing very well. EP went off. Not very many people noticed that, not even the TV. They showed Ott’s car with EP’s name on it. It was just off-road and he landed on the right-hand side of the car. We found out 30 minutes ago because there was no ‘phone signal and the satellite was flat. But the car looks okay and they can continue.

 

Q:

Ott holds third place on the podium. It was a strong day for him.

 

KL:

I think he was quite clever today in the tricky conditions. I would say tomorrow the conditions are more equal and I would say he will be fast. Let’s see what happens.

 

Q:

Malcolm, Seb Ogier first. Second on the road. He did a great job. What have you thought today?

 

MW:

Thre is no question that his performance from his road position has been fantastic. But to think that he will be starting fourth car on the road tomorrow is pretty frustrating by the fact that we had no retirements in Sweden and we’ve had them today. Every position we have seen today is an improvement He will be pushing hard tomorrow. It’s quite a small gap to Kris Meeke. We will see what happens.

 

Q:

What is the update on Elfyn and Dan after the accident today?

 

MW:

Elfyn is the first guy to roll the Fiesta WRC. Unfortunately, Dan suffered quite a bit in the accident. He’s been to hospital. Hes got concussion and that means he cannot continue tomorrow. Considering the speed of the crash, the smal amount of damage to the car is remarkable. Hopefull he will be 100% fit for Corsica.

 

Q:

Dani, you are leading the rally at the end of day two. How are you feeling?

 

DS:

The feeling is incredible. The start position was a little bit better than the others but I pushed a lot. I had a bit of an advantage in the morning. The afternoon was a bit more difficult with the tyres. I will continue tomorrow.  

 

Q:

It must be quite nostalgic having Seb chasing you down?

 

DS:

Yes, it is nice to see him back, but he is back too quickly…! This is rally and this is compettion.  It is always welcome. I will try to do my best and enjoy the stages. I want to win but everyone wants to win. It will be a nice fight.

 

Q:

Sébastien, back in the championship and here you are in second position fighting for the lead. Did you ever imagine that?

 

SL:

I was dreaming about it. I did not know what to expect when I came back or whether I would find the feeling like these guys. You need to feel like one with you and the car and I did not know whether I could get it back after six years. It was a lot of questions to myself. The rhythm was good and the feeling with the car was there from the start of the day. One little mistake, but not much. It’s great to be here in second position.

 

Q:

What did you feel like when Daniel told you that you had the fastest stage time?

 

SL:

It was not Daniel because there was no board. It was the guy who was doing the interview who told me. It was a great surprise because on the first pass of El Chocolate it was not really good. It ws a new stage for me and I had to understand the things quickly. To have my first fastest time of the rally on a stage I did not know was a great surprise and I was very happy.  

 

I try my best all the time and will continue like this. Dani is seven seconds ahead and Ott is not far behind. Some other drivers are not too far either. I had a good road position. Tomorrow is another day and I will try to fight.

 

Q:

Ott, it has been a strong day for you with third position, Are you happy?

 

OT:

Yes, I am happy to be here. It was a tough day and we had quite a few issues with the heat and the engine. It was a bit of a struggle but we managed quite well. The engineers managed to improve it a bit and the second loop was easier to drive.

 

Q:

Ott, you want to fight for the win here. Is there more of an incentive to be hunting down a nine-time World Champion.

 

OT:

Defintely, we are quite keen to hunt him down, but I take my hat off to him now. He has done an incredible job today and has been very fast. Tomorrow is another day. We are close on the road and it will be a big fight.

 

Q:

We noticed a huge Estonian flag in the crowd today. They have even travelled to Mexico to support you.

 

OT:

It is far from home and it is nice to see local people around here. I guess it’s minus 10 or minus 20 in Estonia and plus 30 here, so it’s nice to enjoy some sunshine. But it’s nice to see some Estonian flags.