So what’s happened? Wrc.com asked Citroen Racing team principal Yves Matton:
So far in Portugal we’ve seen a different Dani to the one we saw in Mexico. What has changed?
“The car. Well, not only the car. Before Mexico we did a test and Dani was happy with what we had done to the DS3 but we were unable to give him the new parts before Mexico. For sure, the feeling he had with the car in Mexico was not good and maybe the fact that he knew he could have had a better car there was not easy for him.
“We did another test after Mexico and it went very well too. We saw that he was happy with the new set-up and now I think the car is what he wants and what he needs. It’s only now that he has the right feeling with the car and can drive it in his own style. His motivation is now very high.”
What exactly have you done to the car?
“I will say the most important point is the suspension. Dani’s main concern in Mexico was to have the car a little bit stiffer. More than a little bit, actually. That’s the main part we’ve changed. There are a couple of other things but all connected to giving him a car with less roll.”
Is this rally Dani’s best chance yet for a WRC win?
“Actually I think it’s his first chance. I am pretty sure that Dani also has potential to win some asphalt rallies. We know from experience that he’s very fast on that surface.”
What instructions will you give Dani for Saturday’s competition?
“Go like you did on Friday but maybe a few seconds faster!”
So you don’t mind risking the possibility of some useful manufacturers’ championship points?
“Sure the manufacturers’ championship is important but firstly we are in rallying to win rallies. When we are in a position that we are not able to win without taking a huge risk then we’ll take the points that we can for the manufacturers’. But when you are four seconds from the lead you have to try and go for the win.”