Rally Finland: Fighting talk part 1
Our first selection of WRC driver quotes before Neste Oil Rally Finland
Out to attack
“My favourite stage will be ‘Mokkipera. It is four years since we last drove that. It takes you uphill and downhill at full throttle and speeds of up to 195 km/h. It sometimes makes your stomach feel a bit peculiar. Having suffered a number of set-backs in Finland last year, I am obviously out to attack again this time around and, ideally, to beat my team-mate Sébastien Ogier. However, you cannot count anyone out – particularly the drivers from Nordic countries. I also believe that my other team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen will be in contention.”
Building on past experience.
RK M-Sport World Rally Team.
“I remember when I came here for the first time last year and I thought ‘wow’! This time the speed difference from rally to rally will not be as huge as the Polish stages were also extremely fast. About half of the rally route will be the same this year so at least I know what to expect and what things I should concentrate on during the recce. We will try to prepare as well as we can but it will be our first time here in a world rally car and my driving style has also changed from last year.”
Experienced and confident.
Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.
“Experience is the key to going quickly on all of the stages. Having competed here eight times before means I have acquired the confidence you need. It is also one of my favourite events. I think that came across last year. I’m expecting it to be a good fight. We’ll need to go at a strong pace from start to finish to try and keep moving up in the overall standings, which is what I have managed to do every year since my first appearance here.”
Taking a natural approach.
M-Sport World Rally Team.
“I’ve done Rally Finland a few times now but my four-wheel-drive experience is pretty limited and this week will be a completely different challenge when compared to the Ford Fiesta R2 I’ve been more used to on these stages. The most important thing is to be relaxed – to let the driving come naturally.”
Pace notes the key.
Volkswagen Motorsport II.
“The pace notes and communication with the co-driver have to be perfect, as Rally Finland does not forgive any mistakes. If you don’t drive the perfect line, you soon find yourself at the side of the road. I am certainly not lacking confidence after my runner-up finish at Rally Poland. And the work with my co-driver Ola Fløene is perfect.”
Motivated by knowledge.
“Because it’s my home rally some people think there is more pressure on my shoulders to achieve a good result but I have learned during my career that stress doesn’t help. On the contrary, I’m even more motivated because it’s the rally I know much better than all the others and everything is much more familiar to [my co-driver] Tomi and I.”