‘Meet the Crews’

‘Meet the Crews’ –  Saturday

 

Present:

Pierre Budar – Citroën Total World Rally Team

Rich Millener – M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

Tommi Mäkinen – Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team

Andrea Adamo – Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team

 

1st Sébastien Ogier – Citroën Total World Rally Team

2nd Elfyn Evans – M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

3rd Ott Tänak – Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team

Q:

Pierre, Sébastien Ogier still has the lead of the rally. A small mistake on the super special. Did that make you a little nervous?

PB:

The rally is never finished before the end. He lost six of seven seconds with a very small mistake, but that is the way it is.

Q:

Only 60km tomorrow and Ott is on a charge. Are you concerned about his progress up the leader board?

PB:

We are concerned by our competitors, of course. But I think Sébastien knows how to manage this situation. He has a small gap but maybe it is enough if nothing wrong happen.”

Q:

Esappeka Lappi showed great pace before he put the car off the road. As a team boss, how are you feeling about what he did this morning?

PB:

We are disappointed for him also. He was very comfortable in the car. That’s what he said. It was a small mistake. Maybe a lack of experience. He will get this experience for the future.

Q:

Rich, Elfyn Evans started the day in second and he ends the day in second. It’s been a strong performance. Are the team pleased with what he has done today?

RM:

It’s a bit close now and closer than it was this morning. But we have had a fantastic day. Apart from the one stage where Elfyn dropped a lot of time, the rest of it we cam be happy about. The stage before, where he beat Ott, showed that he is capable of mixing it with these guys now and that is great to see.

Q:

Can he keep it together? Can he just win it or bin it tomorrow?

RM:

I think he would love to finish. He said tonight that he thinks he can do it. That is great to hear. If he is positive in his head and knows where he wants to be, let’s hope he can do it. Some parts of the stages are second use and he did well on those parts of the stages yesterday and today. I am sure it will be one hell of a fight to watch.

Q:

Tommi, Ott has done a great job and is within touching distance of second and first place. Wll he go for a win tomorrow?

TM:

There is still a long distance to go, 60km, and that means quite a lot in these hard conditions. He will be concentrating to give his best and that is all we can do at the moment. Everything has been working well with the whole team to make it reliable. That’s why we don’t need to worry about tomorrow.

Q:

We saw a cheeky tactic from Jari-Matti Latvala this morning. Was that a team decision?

TM:

Well, we did discuss about it. He wanted to try and find a good place to drive. He got a good road position and got a couple of fastest stage times.

Q:

Andrea, a change around for Thierry Neuville today. He is ready to pounce if anyone has problems. He’s in better spirits today.

AA:

Fourth is not a good position. We are not coming here to be fourth and some behind. I could not say that I am happy.

Q:

Nothing will make you happy then? Unless there is the potential for the win, you are not a happy man?

AA:

There is a nice way of saying sometimes that we never lose, but we win  and we take experience. Here, we take a lot of experience…!

Q:

So Thierry will be pushing for maximum points on the Power Stage?

AA:

For sure, this is the last possibility we have to take extra points home. We will try to be focused on this at least.

Q:

Sébastien, what an incredible day again. You have a good lead. Talk to us about an uncharacteristic mistake on the super special this evening?

SO:

I have to say it has not been a smooth day for me. I had to fight really hard. It started with the puncture on the first stage, rocks in the line that I could not avoid. That put the pressure on us to finish the loop without a spare wheel. Tonight I did another mistake in the super stage, but I finished with some hydraulic trouble on the car, where I was losing pressure on the central differential. It started to disturb me a bit. I struggled to finish the last stage. Luckily it was on tarmac. Its good to have a 45-minute service for the mechanics to fix everything and to have a brand new car to finish the rally tomorrow.

Hopefully we have enough of a gap but these two guys are in for a big fight and they are going to push and that means we have to keep a good rhythm too. Tomorrow is still long. It is not an easy job.

Q:

Elfyn, in exactly the same place as we saw you last night – second position. A good day but you lost a little time this afternoon?

EE:

A bit disappointed with the end of the afternoon at least. Ott has been charging hard and we did not have a good stage in Otates. That has really cost us our margin. There is a big fight on for tomorrow.

Q:

I think we have seen a new fiery and more aggressive Elfyn Evans, maybe?

EE:

Maybe, I don t know. We will find out tomorrow I guess. It’s a rally where you have to be smart to drive fast, but we want that second place and we will fight for it.

Q:

Ott, you have been making your way up the leaderboard today. Are you putting Sébastien Ogier under threat?

OT:

As we can see we are very close to Elfyn, so I don’t have any other choice other than to keep pushing. Obviously our starting position has been getting better and better. Tomorrow, for the first time, we are in a fair position with Elfyn and will have a fair fight. I am sure it will be a tough day. There is a lot to do.

Q:

You have all been team-mates. Have you been playing any games with Elfyn?

OT:

Actually this is the first time I have seen him since this morning. I guess the best game is what we do on the stages. Tomorrow will be a big day. Let’s see what is possible but we are motivated to wake up in the morning.