WRC - Rally Poland - Press Conference

WRC - Rally Poland - Press Conference

Press Room FIA

WRC - Rally Poland - Press Conference

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Present:
1st – Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Motorsport II
1st – Anders Jaeger, Volkswagen Motorsport II
2nd – Ott Tänak, DMACK World Rally Team
2nd – Raigo Molder, DMACK World Rally Team
3rd – Hayden Paddon, Hyundai Motorsport
3rd – John Kennard, Hyundai Motorsport
Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport

Q:
Andreas, what a finish! How are you feeling about your second-ever win in the WRC?
AM:
The feeling is of course great. I think we did a good weekend and probably my best-ever performance, pushing very hard from the first metre of the first stage to the last metre of the last stage. Ott did an amazing rally I have to say. It was hard to keep up with the pace. Today the conditions we met meant we knew anything can happen and, especially because of these conditions, we tried to never give up. On the second loop it was so rough. We knew we needed a fast pace to keep the pressure on Ott. It was an amazing event. What happened to Ott happened to me in Sweden. But I am happy with the work we have done.

Q:
Tell us what it was like to drive flat-out in those conditions today?
AM:
I think when you are flat-out it is not so bad. You go in with full commitment but the last stage was different. When you have a lead of 16 seconds it is much worse. We knew we had to take more risks in these conditions. They were risks that we were willing to take to fight for the second place. I thought Hayden would push this morning.

Q:
Did you honestly think this morning that a win was possible?
AM:
When I saw the conditions I thought everything can be possible if we were to push on all four stages. When you have to go fast to win in these conditions it is not so easy. A puncture is so costly. We were lucky. We got out and nothing happened. We had the luck this time.

Q:
Congratulations on your first WRC win Anders. How are you feeling and what are your thoughts right now?
AJ:
I am feeling great, of course. We are very happy. Probably I will feel a bit better during the evening. It is not clear right now. For sure, I am feeling good.

Q:
We can only imagine how devastated you feel Ott. Tell us what you are thinking after that superb drive this weekend?
OT:
What can I say? Obviously it was a great weekend and I enjoyed it a lot. It was probably the greatest feeling I have had. I felt good in the car and we had the car working perfectly, and the tyres. If you feel all is good and you are confident in the car there are no limits. The base was there. But I must remember we still got our second place.

Q:
You picked up the puncture in the penultimate stage, how did that happen, did you hit something?
OT:
It’s hard to say. It happened early in the stage and I felt it going down with around 13-14 kilometres to go. It felt like the tyre was on the rim. I was still pushing on the rim and we had some nasty moments after. That is rallying. It’s hard to take it but there will be a pay back time.

Q:
The car and the tyres have delivered a superb performance this weekend. You must be able to take so many positives away from this rally?
OT:
Yes I had the full package and I had everything working for me. The team was helping me a lot and it helped me to do my own job. I had a good feeling. If it’s feeling good you have no limits in the car and it does not feel so risky. I had good fun in the car. When you drive on the limit at these crazy speeds you end the stage smiling.

Q:
Raigo, bitter disappointment. So near and yet so far, what are your feelings right now?
RM:
To be honest after the finish line I was still disappointed but, at the same time, I was happy because we had achieved second place and that is a great result for the DMACK boys. So it was a very good result and I am very happy.

Q:
Hayden, it was very close at the end but congratulations on a superb podium finish. Is that Hayden Paddon back to normal after a couple of recent disappointments?
HP:
I was never going anywhere! After the last two days in dry conditions we had very tricky conditions here today. It was going to be easy to make a mistake and I was mindful of that. I had 20 seconds in hand and I was trying to control it. At the end it was a little too close but we did what we needed to. It wasn’t the best rally for me in terms of driving, but I was clean and made no mistakes.

Q:
Was this morning’s strategy just to confirm third place for Hyundai or did you think it would still be possible to catch Andreas and maybe even Ott in those conditions?
HP:
To be honest I was not focusing on the result. Today I just wanted to keep the position. As Andreas said, if you slow down and take it easy it is almost worse.

Q:
What are your overall thoughts on this year’s Rally Poland? There were some real contrasts in the conditions…
HP:
It’s been a great rally. Two days were enjoyable in dry conditions. There were some quite rough sections and parts were even rougher than the past rallies. But the organisation did a good job and the spectators were very good. It was good for the spectators what happened today and for the fans and people watching it certainly added some spice.

Q:
John, a podium finish. What are your thoughts on navigating on such a high-speed rally where one simple mistake could be so costly?
JK:
It’s a difficult rally and a technical rally. You have a very fast combination of speed and the notes are quite complicated because of that.

Q:
Jost, did you honestly expect a finish like that this afternoon?
JC:
No, definitely not. First of all I have to say that Ott and Raigo deserved to win the rally as much as Andreas and Anders. It will make them stronger and I am sure they will come back and win in the future.

Q:
First, fourth and sixth places for Volkswagen, and great performances by Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala today too?
JC:
They showed their potential again today even though the conditions we have seen were so very different. Seb did a fantastic job opening the road. Jari-Matti did not find his rhythm at the beginning but today was much better. This is his best Rally Poland and he is very happy with his result.

Q:
What are your thoughts on this year’s Rally Poland?
JC:
I think there has been a big improvement with the rally in terms of the stages and the organisation. There have been improvements in terms of safety as well, although the service park could be better.

FIA WRC 2 CHAMPIONSHIP

Present:
1st – Teemu Suninen, Team Oreca
1st – Mikko Markkula, Team Oreca

Q:
Teemu, well done on your win in the FIA WRC 2 Championship. You seemed to be out of the running this morning and then you got the lead back on the penultimate stage. Tell us your thoughts about this superb win?
TS:
I am really happy to win this type of rally. When you are pushing for two days on the limit and after this very hard day, it’s a good feeling. Today in the weather we did some mistakes, but still we managed to finish without technical problems.

Q:
It was a great fight between you, Esapekka Lappi and Elfyn Evans. How hard were you pushing today?
TS:
We were on the limit through the rally from the start to the finish and pushing all the time as fast we could.

Q:
This is a major boost for you in the Championship. What is the strategy now for the rest of the season?
TS:
This was a really good result for us for the championship. In Finland we will have to be flat-out. I hope we are going to get the same fight in Finland with (Esapekka) Lappi and (Elfyn) Evans and everyone else.

Q:
This is a very fast rally. How difficult is it to maintain your concentration with the pace notes at such high speeds?
MM:
It was very difficult. Also it was very enjoyable at the same time. You have to concentrate very hard, especially today in the bad conditions.

Q:
With the wet weather today, did you change the strategy or modify the pace notes to cater for the slower speeds and the slippery conditions?
MM:
Of course you need to improve them a bit with the weather. When we make good pace notes, we can use them anywhere.

FIA JUNIOR WRC / WRC 3 CHAMPIONSHIP

Present:
1st – Simone Tempestini
1st – Giovanni Bernacchini

Q:
Simone, congratulations on a superb FIA Junior WRC Championship win here in Poland. Did you think that you could win the category so comfortably?
ST:
For me it was a nice rally. The stages are really fast and, for us, on this second loop in our starting position it was hard to manage the car. Some places were really rough and we needed to be careful not to damage the car and get a puncture. Our rhythm was good and we decided to push in some stages. Our pace was good and our competitors also had some problems. For us, it was easy to manage the gap. It was a long rally for me and I am happy to win here. Last year I had my first win. I made a good start to the season with a win in Portugal. Now I go to Finland and we will see what happens. I also congratulate all the drivers who finished the rally and those drivers in WRC 2 and in WRC on the podium. It is so hard to go fast and I can imagine how hard it must be to drive so fast in a four-wheel drive car with so much more horsepower.

Q:
How does this result change your strategy for the rest of the Championship?
ST:
I love the gravel so, for sure, in Finland and in GB Rally I will try to go as fast as possible. In Corsica and Germany I will try to do my best.

Q:
Giovanni, you have co-driven for many great drivers. What is it like to be in the Juniors running further down the field with trickier conditions for the two-wheel drive cars?
GB:
Yes, comparing a World car with a small one it is totally different. It was actually very difficult for us today. The road conditions were very terrible and in a two-wheel drive [car], it is not easy at all. Even with a small car the speed was incredible. It was my first time n Poland. It was a very fast and good rally. They were nice stages.

Q:
You live in Poland now with your Polish wife from Cracow. Does this now feel like your home rally?
GB:
Actually yes and it is incredible that this was my fist rally here. I have never had a chance to compete here before. I have been living here for five years and it is special to win here, for sure. But I am still not speaking too much Polish….

World Rally Championship

Rally PolandWRCSEASON 2016SportRallies1SportWorld Rally ChampionshipRalliesWRCSEASON 2016Rally Poland01Sunday, July 3, 2016 – 5:20pmSunday, July 3, 2016 – 5:20pm

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