MEET THE CREWS – AFTER SS10

‘Meet the Crews’ –  after SS10

Saturday, March 10th 2018

 

Present:

Malcolm Wilson – M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

Pierre Budar – Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

Michel Nandan – Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team

Tommi Mäkinen – Toyota GAZOO Racing World Rally Team

 

1st Sébastien Ogier – M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

2nd Dani Sordo – Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team

3rd Kris Meeke – Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

 

Q:

Malcolm, you told us yesterday what a tough day it had been. How things have turned around and now you are in the lead after an extraordinary display by Sébastien Ogier. How are you feeling at the end of the day?

 

MW:

I think you can imagine  how I feel. I think the word extraordinary puts into perspective what Seb has actually been this afternoon. I could sense at lunchtime a glint in his eye that he was really going to go out there and try and attack and try and get those 16 seconds. He did and he has ended up with this lead. It was an incredible afternoon. Nothing more to say. It’s just Sébastien at his best.

 

Q:

He has a good lead now.You can never say comfortable at any rally but, with the kilometres that are remaining, do you have any concerns?

 

MW:

I have no concerns about Seb. But, like everyone else here, we all know that something mechanical can happen. The important thing for us is that we need to give him a car that is 100% reliable to do the things which we know he can do. The pressure is on us as a team to give him the car to finish the job off.

 

Q:

Pierre, Sébastien Loeb got into the lead today. But a rock on the line delaminated the tyre and he lost over two minutes. He told us he was in his Dakar mindset and should have driven to the end of the stage and he would not have lost so much time. How disappointing has it been?

 

PB:

Of course it has been disappointing. Maybe he did lose some time on the decision he took. The decision was made. Now it’s gone. I think he is really disappointed himself. This is the race.

 

Q:

Seeing Loeb’s performance must give the team big confidence for Corsica?

 

PB:

Yes, of course, we are quite happy to see that. At least he can say that Seb was in the fight. That is very good.

 

Q:

Kris is still in second place and there is still a big battle out there. That will be exciting…

 

PB:

Of course, we have to take care of Dani. He is not very far behind. It will be more difficult to follow Seb Ogier, so the target is to take care of Dani.

 

Q:

Michel, highs and lows. In the lead with Dani Sordo yesterday and he also hit a rock today?

 

MN:

I dont think it was the same rock (as Loeb). It was just after the start of the stage. He decided not to take risks after that and that was the right decision. He is not too far from Kris.

 

Q:

So what is the plan for Dani tomorrow? There are only seven seconds between him and Kris.

 

MN:

I think we need to think about the points and Thierry (Neuville) also. We will see what is coming tomorrow.

 

Q:

Tommi, Ott (Tanak) was in a podium position yesterday. But he seems to have spent most of today in the pool. Tell us what happened?

 

MW:

He did a good consistent job for us yesterday and was confident that it would continue today. He lost some time before and then around seven kilometres from the end of the first stage the turbo was broken and the dream was destroyed.

 

Q:

Have you been impressed with his start to the season?

 

TM:

Yes, very much. He has done incredible work. We have to do a lot of work now for next year here. Finally, we understand how tough it is. All these little difficulties we have reached, now we have to keep working harder and harder. Of course, for the next rally, we will have some experience from Monte-Carlo.

 

Q:

Sébastien, what a day it has been for you out there. Today you really had a scent for victory. How are you feeling?

 

SO:

I feel great. This is the place I always want to be, sitting here and answering your question. I am very happy. Yesterday was not a bad day at all, but it was difficult to see that with the time sheet because starting second was a hard job. This afternoon we make the biggest difference. We wanted to push and we wanted to try. We knew it would be difficult to catch Seb and Dani but, at the end, it worked. The times were good and that was it.

 

Q:

We could see from the television coverage that you were really pushing hard out there. Were you on the limit today?

 

SO:

Pretty much all the time, but the feeling was good in the car. It was not always perfect. We all made a couple of small mistakes. This morning I did very few. I was very happy this morning. In the afternoon, with the hard tyres, I had a spin on the sandy section. It was very slippery. It was difficult to be perfectly clean all the time. Anyway, it was better than the others. It was not an easy loop. It was very hot in the car, for the engine and the brakes. It was a very demanding day, but it worked well.

 

Q:

Kris, another tough day out there. Second place and Dani not too far behind. It makes it quite exciting for tomorrow?

 

KM:

We still have a job to do tomorrow. My rhythm was good today and I enjoyed driving. The morning was quite nice for me, but Seb (Ogier) just had more pace than me in the afternoon. Even on 31km, he took 3.8 seconds and I couldn’t think where I could have driven better. He did a better job than me this afternoon. The roads here are so narrow and I lost 30 seconds with that one mistake.

 

Q:

Kris, every driver needs a confidence boost before he starts the day. We know you were chatting to your family back home in the UK this morning. People who follow you on Instagram will have seen your daughters wearing Dani Sordo T-shirts! They are big fans of Dani. (Ogier looks at the photo and jokes that his mother used to support ‘poor Jari-Matti’). What did you think when you saw that?

 

KM:

I am sure there are a lot of girls around the world wearing Dani Sordo T-shirts!! Dani lives quite close to me back home, but I think I will have to have a word. I can’t have my kids supporting Dani Sordo…We will have to get some proper T-shirts made when we beat him tomorrow…..!

 

Q:

Dani, last night you were sitting in the middle chair and leading the rally. Tell us about your third day?

 

DS:

The speed of Sébastien (Ogier) was very high and we had a puncture and lost a little bit of time. We are close to Kris now and will try something to try and catch him.

 

Q:

How much do yoiu want to risk of what you have already?

 

DS:

We will see. I will try, but I want to take a podium here.