Thierry, it was drama all weekend. Did you think the podium was gone when you hit the Power Stage?
“To be honest, no. I didn’t know where the car had gone. I knew there was the ditch and I tried to save the car, but it went well. It was very spectacular, but inside it wasn’t that great and I escaped with just two holes. Fortunately only two, because if it wasn’t, it would have been difficult to get to the assistance. Challenging, emotional, lots of ups and downs all weekend. A lot of frustration and sometimes also a little joy, like this morning, when we managed to regain third position, which was our main target after the various situations of the weekend. So I’m happy to be here, even though we lost three possible points on the Power Stage.”
How is the car compared to Monte Carlo?
“The feeling of the car was better, that’s for sure. But it would be unrealistic to say that we have recovered from all the problems we had at Monte. We have to stay realistic, we’ve taken a step forward, we’ve come a little closer, but we’re not there yet.
In terms of performance but also in terms of reliability, because in the first three rallies I was ‘hit’ by mechanical gremlins three times. I hope we can improve that as a team for future events. Somehow we have two cars on the podium, so for the manufacturers it was a little bit better weekend.
But I think we still need to take some steps forward to win the championship.”
The Rally de Portugal is coming, it’s the first land event. Sébastien Loeb and Dani Sordo are returning, probably Ogier. How do you feel about this, bearing in mind that the riders who are about to arrive have really strong road positions?
“These six riders that are way behind can drive to victory, so it would be unrealistic to say that Ott, Kalle or I have a chance for the podium, but I think we both need to have some training in the next few weeks that if we have time similar to this weekend, could give us a chance to win.”