Corsica debrief: Part One
The 'Rally of 10,000 corners' pushed teams to the limit as the twisty Corsican roads proved to be a love/hate affair for many of the WRC field. In the first part of our debrief, we look at the moments that mattered.
Driver of the rally
Quite an obvious one after his third win in four rallies but Sébastien Ogier was in a class of his own at his home event.
Almost 10 seconds ahead of the pack after Friday's first stage, the Frenchman took victory on SS2 & SS3 to make it a hat-trick and then sat back waiting for everyone else to try and catch up.
It was a classy performance that underlined his confidence in the Fiesta and his ability to control a rally from the front.
Quote of the rally
When a driver reaches a stage end having crashed, you don't expect the first thing to come out of their mouth to be praise for the set-up. But that's exactly what Jari-Matti Latvala said after he hit a tree on Saturday's second run of the Cagnano - Pino - Canari test.
"We did some changes in the service and the car was fantastic to drive. However, I pushed a little bit too much, braked a little bit too late, and hit a tree on the rear end," he said.
One to forget
Andreas Mikkelsen won't look back on his Corsican adventure too quickly. After a podium in Sweden and fourth in Mexico, it was fair to assume the Norwegian might continue that sort of form this time out.
Instead, he finished in the lower half of the top 10 in every stage as he struggled with set-up on Hyundai's i20 and was beaten by team-mates Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville.
Next up: Argentina - an event he finished on the podium last time out (in 2016). Will he get things back on track there?
You'll never believe it
Esapekka Lappi was looking good for a podium on Sunday morning, after storming Saturday with two stage wins. Starting with a 10.3sec deficit to third-placed Thierry Neuville, Lappi had a good chance of overhauling the Belgian with 71.42km on the itinerary.
And then the WRC delivered an 11th-hour curve ball. Clipping a kerb on the mammoth 55km Vero - Sarrola-Carcopino, Lappi punctured. Fitting the spare took almost two minutes - and cost him his shot at the podium. Proof once again that you can't take anything for granted in this sport.
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