Wednesday | 05 Mar 2014

Mexico countdown: fighting talk part 1

Here's what the drivers are saying ahead of Rally Mexico:

Kris Meeke: “I’d be pleased with a top five.”
“I have worked on the videos and have listened carefully to advice from the team and from Mads (Ostberg). I still have some learning to do, but I’m pleased with the set-up we found in testing. I’ll be concentrating on my own race. I know that I’ll have a good starting position for the long first day. I’d be pleased with a top five finish.”

Sebastien Ogier: “We must perform well on opening day.”
“As the second car out, we start in the knowledge that the road conditions will improve with each car. My starting position is definitely better than that of my team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala, but the guys behind us will have even better conditions. We will have to perform as well as possible on the opening day, in order not to throw away any hopes of victory early on.”

Thierry Neuville: “Mexico is special for me.”
“It’s a special rally for me as I had a very good result there last year, scoring the first WRC podium of my career. We drove the Hyundai i20 WRC on gravel for the first time on a recent test session and in general we had a good feeling with the car. We had the chance to rack up some good mileage and also to make the set-up adjustments for the rally.”

Mikko Hirvonen

Mikko Hirvonen: “Hopefully we’ll be on the pace.”
“We’ll see some really long stages which I enjoy. It’s a nice change as we don’t see them so often anymore. It’s a good challenge for a driver as you need to be really focused and keep concentrated, but even if you make a small mistake you have the opportunity to make it back. Hopefully we’ll be on the pace. We had a good event in Sweden, but we weren’t quite there so let’s try again.”

Robert Kubica: “I have no concerns about a 50km stage.”
“This year there will be a lot of long stages. Of course they are more demanding than the short stages, but I am used to being in a car for long periods of time and races in Formula 1 are much longer then the stages we’ll encounter. The approach and the grip levels are different, but from a physical point of view I have no concerns about driving a 50km stage.”