Fifty-seven crews to line up in Sardinia
Strong entry for round six of WRC
We asked the talented Frenchman lots of questions, such as what he thinks of Sardinia's technical gravel rally. But we also challenged him to give us an insight into whether a reigning World Rally Champion unpacks his bag in his hotel room or prefers to take a less organised strategy. Here’s what he had to say…
Q: Where does Rally Italia Sardegna sit on your list of favourite WRC events?
A: “It’s not in the top three but for me every year this rally is getting better and better. When I first discovered it in 2008, I didn’t like it so much. It was not so fun to drive because the roads were very narrow and there were lots of rocks. But now the roads are getting better every year year and it’s a rally that I’m really starting to like.”
Q: What three words would you use to describe Rally Italia?
A: “Hot, sandy and slippery.”
Q: What is the biggest challenge you’ll face on the rally?
A: “The heat and tyre wear. Those are always big issues for us.”
Q: How will you travel from your home to Sardinia?
A: “For this one I am very lucky because I plan to go in a private plane. The airport is only 1km from my home. I will go there in my own car and then take the plane directly to Sardinia. A guy called Willie from the team will then pick me up from the airport. He is like a nanny that looks after small children!”
Q: How will you pass the time on the plane?
A: “The flight to Alghero will be short – maybe only one hour. So maybe I’ll read a magazine or answer the e-mails on my phone.”
Q: Are you a good passenger on a plane?
A: “It’s okay, I trust the pilot. Whatever you do in life there is a risk but flying is one of the safest ways to travel. I’m fine with it.”
Q: What is your hotel room strategy – do you unpack or live out of a bag?
A: “It’s not always the same. Sometimes if I am in the mood, I try to open the bag and put things in the drawers or wardrobe. But sometimes it’s just like a big mess. If that’s the case, I need a lot of time to pack my bag before I come home.”
Q: When you won in Mexico you were presented with some cowboy boots and you received your weight in olive oil after taking victory in Portugal. What do you get in Sardinia?
A: “I’m not sure. The most important thing to bring back from a rally is the winners’ trophy. But let’s see what surprise the Sardinia people have. I don’t need any more Olive Oil, though. I’ve already got about 50 litres!”
Q: “If you could take a souvenir from Sardinia, what would it be?
A: “The sun. That would make my girlfriend very happy because she always needs the sun.”