Tue 17 Jan 2023

Lappi: Dry Monte would be simpler

Hyundai Motorsport debutant Esapekka Lappi is hoping for a kind and consistent season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo this week (19 - 22 January).

This season marks the Finn's return to full-time employment at the FIA World Rally Championship’s top table and Lappi - who turned 32 today (Tuesday) - is looking for an opportunity to play himself into Hyundai’s i20 N Rally1.

“It’s definitely more straightforward and simpler if we have a dry Monte and consistent conditions,” he said. “I have known this from before – when you are trying to learn about a new car, it’s easier if the weather isn’t changing all the time. That’s how it is again this time.

“Since I competed on the Monte, it’s moved back to Monaco and last year there was less snow and ice. It would be simpler if it was like this again.

“I have to say, it’s not the nicest feeling climbing up the hill in the darkness on slick tyres in potentially icy conditions! There is excitement, but there is also a small bit of fear.”

Starting his first Rallye Monte-Carlo since 2020 and his fourth in a different factory World Rally Car or Rally1 car, the Finn is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

He added: “I’m excited to start this adventure with a new team. I’ve only had one test day on Tarmac, but I will go there with my mind open and not give up before we’ve even started. I am confident we can have good pace – maybe not from the very first stage, but certainly we will develop a lot during the weekend and hopefully finish well.”

Images © Julien Pixelrallye

  • Full coverage from Rallye Monte-Carlo will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
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