InterviewsRallyWRC

What the drivers said after WRC Tour de Corse

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Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) of team Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT celebrate on the podium in first place after winning the World Rally Championship France in Calvi,France on March 31 2019

Hyundai

Andrea Adamo (Team Director)
“We have arrived at the end of Tour de Corse in first position, but we cannot say that we have won this rally. We have inherited the victory as a result of a faster competitor’s misfortune. We would have finished in second place – which itself would have been an encouraging result and thanks to the fantastic efforts of Thierry and Nicolas – but to win truly you have to be the fastest and on this occasion we were not. Taking first place is of course a very positive thing for our team. We have been pushing hard and this will definitely act as a morale boost, but we have to be clear with ourselves where we are performance-wise, and where we need to be.” 
 

Thierry Neuville (1st)

“What an incredible rally and a fantastic result! I would like to extend my thoughts to Elfyn and Scott; I am really disappointed for them. It had been a great battle and they were undoubtedly the quicker crew this weekend. We didn’t really know what had happened until we saw our mechanics at the end. I pushed hard in the Power Stage and the points we’ve scored this weekend are hugely important for the championship. It is testament to the hard work of everyone at Hyundai Motorsport. We may not have been the fastest in outright pace, but there has been a significant improvement in our tarmac performance and this victory is perfect thanks for all their efforts. We made a big difference on Saturday afternoon’s stages to put ourselves in contention, and that enabled this result to be possible. It’s never over until it’s over!”
 
 Dani Sordo (4th)
“We came to Corsica with a target of taking a good amount of championship points for the team, and we have achieved that. We have shown some positive pace this weekend, most notably on Saturday’s long stage, but we’ve also struggled at times. We didn’t have the consistency we needed to fight for the podium but finishing fourth is not so bad. Congratulations to Thierry, Nicolas and the team for taking the victory. I am pleased to see us back on top of the manufacturers’ standings. I look forward to the next rally in Argentina.”
 
Sébastien Loeb (8th)
“A great result for the team today. Unfortunately, our own rally was effectively over after our issues in the opening stage on Friday. We lost so much time; we were on the back foot from then onwards.  The motivation is not quite the same when there’s nothing really to fight for. We tried instead to work on the car set-up, making adjustments that will benefit us for the future. Despite our challenges, it has still been an enjoyable rally, the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC has been nice to drive and I’ve had fun on the stages. Hopefully I can do better next time.”  

Citroen

Pierre Budar (Team Principal)

“In terms of points, it was a good result, as we have consolidated second position in the standings for both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships. However, obviously, we can’t be satisfied with our performance level this weekend. We were missing something, somewhere, throughout the weekend. We’ll now analyse everything in detail so that we get to the bottom of this drop in form and ensure we return to the level of competitiveness we had previously on tarmac at the rounds in Germany and Spain. I would nonetheless like to pay tribute to the reaction of my team in this difficult situation. They never let up, working hard to try and find every possible solution for our crews. We improved during the weekend and it’s by maintaining this attitude that we’ll keep making progress and coming back even stronger. ”

Sébastien Ogier (2nd)

“In terms of points, it’s a good result, scoring nineteen points at a difficult round. On the other hand, we really suffered in terms of pure performance. We need to understand why, so that we don’t have the same problem again on this surface, on which the C3 WRC had performed well previously. In any case, I’m pleased to have managed to get the most out of the car I had and also that I don’t have to open the road on gravel in Argentina.”

Esapekka Lappi (7th)

“We all had high hopes coming into this round, so obviously we can’t be satisfied with this result. We were short on performance and suffered quite a lot of understeer throughout the weekend. We’re going to work hard to put things right for the next rounds on tarmac, in Germany and then in Spain. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to getting back on gravel in Argentina.”

M-Sport

Richard Millener (Team Principal)
 
“This one is pretty hard to take. Elfyn and Scott were the fastest crew out there this weekend and have shown everyone what they and the Fiesta are capable of. That first stage this morning was simply sensational and I don’t think anyone can say that they didn’t deserve this victory. 
 
“To lose it on the last stage was a bitter blow for the whole team, but we need to look to the positives – and there were a lot of those this weekend. We’ve secured our second consecutive podium and the team have made some incredible steps forward with the Fiesta. Everyone is working flat-out to ensure we can continue to fight for the top results – and clearly we can!
 
“Alongside Elfyn’s incredible performance, Teemu also delivered a pretty outstanding drive. He made it safely through all of the stages, and fought off Tänak to keep his fifth place today. He’s gained vital knowledge of this difficult event, and also shown his speed with three well-deserved points in the Power Stage.
 
“I think we’ve all proven that the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team isn’t going away this year. Already this season we’ve proven that we have the pace to challenge for victory on every surface. Teemu has led a rally, Elfyn has led a rally, and the Fiesta has some serious speed. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing.”
 
Elfyn Evans (3rd) 
 
“It’s disappointing right now, but overall it’s been a really positive weekend and we know that we had the speed to win. The first stage this morning felt really good, and we had a good rhythm going into the Power Stage. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it felt like we were in the middle of the road and just unfortunate to hit a stone or something in the line. 
 
“Straight away I knew it didn’t sound good, and sure enough a couple of hundred metres later we got the puncture alarm. We had 11 kilometres to go and I knew that if we stopped to change it we would lose a lot of positions. We decided to continue, and thankfully made it to the end to salvage a podium.
 
“Perhaps it’s not the result we wanted, but the pace is there and I think we can all take confidence from that moving forward. We’ve had a pretty strong start to the season so far and I’ve been really happy with the Fiesta on all four of the opening rounds. The guys back at M-Sport are working exceptionally hard and making improvements all the time so I see no reason why we can’t continue this form into the coming events.”
 
Teemu Suninen (5th) 
 
“This weekend was really good for us and I can be happy with the job we have done. Before the rally I thought that this would be the hardest on the calendar. It’s the only event I’ve not done in a world rally car and there were also a lot of slow corners where I have been struggling a bit.
 
“But on the clean sections like today I have been able to be really fast and set some top times. We still have some work to do in the dirty sections. But we finished the rally in a good position and with three points from the Power Stage. That was good.”

Toyota

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)

“The Power Stage was our main target for today and both Kris and Ott did a good job to get the top points. It also shows just how fast our car is on asphalt: This is the big positive to take away from this weekend. Now we must investigate the problems that we had during the rally, because it could have been a very good result for us and we need to learn from it. Still, the championships are very close and we will take confidence to the next rallies in Argentina and Chile.”

Ott Tänak (6th)

Generally, it has been a good event for us: We had a strong performance and I actually quite enjoyed this year’s Tour de Corse. Of course, the final result is disappointing, but this was a rally I didn’t enjoy at all a couple of years ago, and we are now right on the pace and driving with a good rhythm, so there is something for us to smile about. Today was just about collecting some points from the Power Stage, and we had a clean run with no risks. The fight continues.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (10th)

“We were closing to scoring one or two points on the Power Stage, which I would have been happy with because I didn’t have the confidence in myself to take any risks. I have been missing some speed all weekend, so it was important to just bring the car to the finish. I know that I have some things to think about to improve on asphalt, but that is for the future. For now I will put this event behind us, and try to go to the next events in South America with some new energy.”

Kris Meeke (9th)

“We went for it in the Power Stage today and came away with the full five points. Of course, I don’t really like to have to do it like this, as I would rather be fighting for the rally win. But we had a luxury of a time gap, which allowed us to protect our tyres in the first stage this morning. That gave us good tyres for the Power Stage so we went for it, keeping in mind to bring the car home. The Yaris WRC has been incredible all weekend, I’ve really enjoyed driving it right from shakedown. I just have to keep the confidence and I’m sure a big result will come.”

WRC2-Pro winner

Lukasz Pieniazek (1st in class)

“It was quite a difficult weekend for us. We got a puncture on the very first stage and I wasn’t 100 percent confident with the car. Then in the last stage yesterday afternoon I had too much information in my notes. I get the information about the gravel on the road too late and I was already turning into the corner which put us into the concrete. So not the best weekend, but our rival also made mistakes which gave us the full 25 points. We’ll take that, and will try to improve on the next events.”

WRC2 winner

Fabio Andolfi (1st in class)

“The last stage was hard because Gryazin was in front of me, but in the end we are happy.  I am happy with our performance, especially on Saturday’s long stage, and I hope it will be the start of a good season.” 

JWRC

1. Julius Tannert (1st in class)
“Just an amazing feeling to be honest, it’s like a dream come true for me. It’s just a brilliant result with such a tough fight. Big thanks to Dennis and Tom for such a competitive and hard fight, it was really great to do this in Junior WRC. We lost one minute on Saturdaymorning and thought everything was over but we didn’t give up and gave everything on the last stage.”