09 Jul 08
What has been your highlight of the year so far?
Definitely Rally Sardinia. Even though as the only Italian in the WRC you can imagine there was so much pressure. Okay, we had a problem on the second stage when we slid off and got a puncture, but after that we built a very good race. We keep Dani Sordo behind us and scored good points the team, but mainly I had a good weekend and I really enjoyed it.
And I'm guessing Turkey was the most disappointing?
Perhaps. But that's only because early on it seemed such a good opportunity to score very good points. And not because somebody else had gone off - it was down to my driving. For this reason I was a little bit sad.
Will you get the chance to test before Rally Finland?
Unfortunately no. But we always knew this. Maybe we'll do something before Germany because since Monte Carlo I haven't seen tarmac. But it's okay like that, I'm still so happy to be here in the WRC. For now the only testing I'll do is in the garden with a digger - today I'm levelling the ground before planting a lawn.
What aspects of your driving are you looking to improve in the second half of the year?
So far we found - I hope - some speed. Now the next goal is to find consistency and to be able to better control the results. If I am in third place, for instance, I want to be able to manage my pace, split by split, stage by stage, day by day. This year is the first that I've had split times in the car and for me it's a very big discovery. I started with them in Sweden but maybe the first race that worked well for me was Sardinia where I kept a ten second gap to Dani Sordo.
How do you think you'll do on the asphalt rallies?
It's difficult to say because I haven't driven the tarmac car since Monte Carlo and I don't have much experience. To be honest I don't really like tarmac because it's not what I think about when I imagine rally - I prefer gravel for my driving. How will I do? I really don't know. It will be another challenge I suppose because we have three on tarmac. Hopefully I can keep a good pace. Perhaps it won't be enough to get into the top-three but a good performance anyway.
Which rally are you looking forward to the most this year?
I think the best one is New Zealand. The road is so smooth and driving over there is fantastic. But you know it's difficult to choose because I enjoy Japan too; I enjoy being in a country where rallying is so popular.
What is your objective for the 2008 season now? Has this changed from January?
The main goal still is to bring Stobart to third place in the Manufacturer Team Championship. Personally, after what we saw on the last few rallies I would like to get into the podium places and why not, maybe something a little bit better.
Where do you think you'll do best this year?
Maybe New Zealand, but it's hard to say because it might look like I don't respect the other guys. But okay, I think Finland is too specialist and I'm sure it will be a big fight between Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen, but hopefully in New Zealand I can be strong enough. My aim is to drive like the first and second day in Turkey. If I can manage like that, then I think I'll have a good chance of a good result.