53. Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2019
29. 5. – 2. 6. 2019, Matosinhos • Automóvel Club de Portugal • gravel 311.47 km - (cancelled 4.50 km) • total distance including road sections - 1433.15 km • Other years
"Before the rally it was looking tough. Yesterday night it was looking quite bad and then we managed to do it. Definitely one of my hardest victories ever - we had to fight and we had a lot of problems. I had to heat the brakes just before the finish line to make sure Seb opens the road in Sardegna!"
"I had put a hard tyre on the stage but we were waiting too long at the start. Coming here after our huge crash in Chile and having such a good feeling in the car is great."
"Okay - this is kind of bad news because I wasn't planning on opening the road in Sardegna."
"The pace was really good on Friday. In the end, quite a good result and maybe some points from the power stage."
"It's been a tough weekend. The most important thing is that the car was fast and we had the speed. I hope I will get a fair time for the power stage."
"It was nice - I tried to push and I tried to enjoy. It will be difficult to do a really good time because the stage is cleaning all of the time."
"Big thanks to the team - everything has been going well and they have worked really hard to get the car finished."
broken left rear suspension
"It means a lot to the team. They did a really great job because the rally was so rough. Thanks to them for the car and we are already looking forward to Sardegna."
"I had some bad noise in my front suspension after my first pass here. We are through now and I am happy with the way we have improved over the weekend. We do have some big challenges to overcome if we want to fight on the rougher rallies like this one. The first thing we need to solve is the rims; we need new rims."
"Let's see. A few points would be nice so let's what is possible."
"It hooked up at a hairpin. I thought I was round it and just at the last minute it came round. I got caught in my dust and I couldn't get a gear."
"The stages are nice - not really easy as it is fast and narrow. Okay, the car is good so I am enjoying it."
"We will try for sure but we know that it will be difficult to get a lot of points. Any points we get are good."
"Much better now! There wasn't any dust so I felt good to drive through the stage."
"Obviously we started the morning okay but these last couple we're crawling through really. We might have a bit of a go on the [Wolf] power stage."
"Much better today compared to yesterday... I mean this morning!!"
"I think I've learned the most today. Cleaning the road makes things quite obvious and you see things in the notes that maybe should have been there. The second pass is always hard to judge exactly where the grip is."
"The car is like a trampoline actually! I always love this one. I've never been so slow in this stage as I am in the R5, so there's plenty of time to look at the people."
"This stage is really amazing. I know we have to just get to the finish so maybe it's not so enjoyable but we are doing our best to have fun in the car."
"It's not fun to drive with a one-minute gap - it's harder than driving flat out! Today we can enjoy the stages and have fun!"
"I had to push a bit but for us it's important to keep the margin with Thierry. I see Kris was faster than Thierry as well so everything is good."
"The most important think is a Toyota 1-2. After that, okay. I'm just trying to do my job but it's important to keep the gap to Thierry. It's up to Ott to do what he wants to do."
"That was not a perfect stage for me. The rear was sliding too much and it was more slippery than I expected."
"I was enjoying the car. I just want to have fun to drive before Sardegna."
"It's a very nice stage. Not easy when you arrive here for the first time as it's quite tricky and very fast!"
"Not really pushing - there is only one stage we need to push still."
"I went wide and hit a bank. I don't know if we can carry on."
"I tried to have a good stage but we need to improve to catch Lappi."
"It's such a fantastic stage to drive. Obviously it's good to get your eye in on these big jumps before the power stage but e everything is okay."
"It was a really nice stage. I did a bit of work with the notes during the recce. The beginning was a bit slippery but after that it got a bit better."
"It's a great stage, it is one of the best definitely. I just wanted to take it clean and tidy to make sure everything is right and we will push this afternoon."
"Yeah, it's okay. As long as we are faster than Thierry it's good."
"It's important to put the gap in this morning. I spoke to Tommi [Makinen] this morning and he said to push on this first one."
"There was a lot of dust I pushed very hard. It's not easy but my pacenotes were very good so I was quite confident."
"Conditions were very bad. There's a lot of dust in the stage so it was very tricky."
"I was driving like road mode."
"I started to spin on the hairpin and the inside bank just turned us over. I need to check the car."
"Really difficult to drive but we are finished and the car is okay."
"The dust is so bad in here. I was virtually stopped in a really fast place in the back there. Just impossible to see between the trees."
"The dust is surprisingly bad. It was not easy and I wonder if it is getting worse and worse with the cars."
"I decided that I've been last on the road, I've been middle of the road, and I needed to get the experience of being first on the road so here I am today! It was meant to happen. I'm driving a WRC car - how can that not be enjoyable?!"
"It was good. On this loop we made an optimistic tyre choice so the tyres are quite done! I have to say, the second loop in these cars is quite rough so it's not so nice to drive fast."
"This loop was not so good for us because I forgot to close the bonnet and it came open. This one was okay but almost rolled when I missed a braking point. We are very lucky!"
"I had a warning light off the startline and every time I pulled the handbrake the car stalled so we dropped a couple of seconds in the first splits. I've never driven so hard in my life!"
"I tried to give it everything. It was not a trouble-free run for us - we were smelling a lot of water but the car is okay."
"I tried my best to keep my car on the road and not make any mistakes. For sure, it's not so fun to drive the car in these conditions but we did what we had to do today."
"The feeling was not as great as this morning but it was not a bad day anyway. It's a short day tomorrow so we shouldn't lose too much there!"
"We had an optimistic target this afternoon. Okay - quite an okay loop and I am happy with how it went."
"It's been a really good day. I've been enjoying a lot and the car is really good for me now. I think the tyre choice could have been better for this as it was too sandy. Okay, we are here and we will push tomorrow."
"The first one was very very tricky. It's hot in the car this afternoon."
retired for today
"All good. It's tough - many surprises but we had a very clean run."
"We had a small impact and the front feels a bit soft. We need to check the front dampers. I took it easy so that we could finish the stage and check the car."
"I think Ogier took an option with mediums and I was expecting him to be quicker in there as it was more medium territory. I had a good stage."
"This is the most slippery stage so with the hard tyres it's maybe not perfect. I had a good stage, I was just kicked out of the ruts a few times by big rocks in the road."
"I was concentrating on trying to push but I am surprised at the time of Ogier."
"It was okay for us - no problems in the stage. Nothing to say."
"It's a challenge! We'll see what happens at the end."
"The ruts were really big but you could carry quite a lot of speed into them. Trying to find out exactly how much speed you can carry into them was something new but it was getting better and better as the stage went on. I enjoyed that."
"Very rough! So much heat through the tyres - I was not expecting this!"
"Just impossible to be honest - the ruts are so narrow you can't get it turned in anywhere. So difficult, so polluted."
"It was a good stage for us. The soft road worked very well for me because I was using the ruts. Let's see!"
"I've been enjoying it. This time last year I was on my way to hospital and out of a job, so it's pretty good in that respect!"
"I had a good stage. Obviously taking a second spare wheel was not the best decision this morning but I kept a good speed. The four-minute gap is working."
"It's quite slippery. Difficult to choose a line - I don't know if need to drive more or less aggressively. Not easy."
"There's a lot of sand in the stage. It was quite tricky but, okay, I'm not pushing. It's always more difficult when you drive like this."
"Now they are quite far behind [Neuville's road position]. For sure, it's starting to play a big part as we have seen with Toyota this morning. I'm doing everything I can."
"We have not got any more power than we would have in road mode. It's okay - we can fix it."
"Just went too fast into a hairpin and stalled the engine. We had the same problem again at the start of the stage with the car cutting out. Pretty good though - it's fun!"
"I think we will go to the dakar next year - we have goos experience after this stage! It's very soft and we get a lot of sand in the car."
"It's okay. I knew I had to take a hard tyre so in some of the soft places it was understeering a little bit. Everything is okay now that the hard stages are coming up."
"Very dusty. Really happy with how the car is working."
"I had a good stage but lots of dust. I tried my best - obviously with two spare wheels I am struggling a bit with the handling."
"We are trying to work a little bit on the car for Sardegna."
"Not so much to say about Hyundai's tactics. It's a shame that we do not have four-minutes [intervals] today with the dust."
"It felt okay. A lot of dust so I almost needed to stop, but I think it's the same for everybody so I can not complain."
"It's nice to be on stages that I know. The dust is getting worse and worse, especially towards the end. This is where I wanted to be today - more in the fight."
"I couldn't see anything so I needed to stop. Already in the open parts I started to have the dust. 3-minutes [intervals] is not enough!"
"It felt good but the dust was really bad."
"It was really slippery. There's a lot of loose gravel on the road and I don't want to take big risks. I am just driving."
"It's been a tough day and it's been challenging. I had a good feeling and I did my best. I said before the rally that this would be a really critical day and we managed to do it. Now we need to do the rest of the job."
"It was a difficult day for us. I struggled in the morning as I was a little bit too cautious. Once we found that feeling we were back on the pace."
"I think we did everything we could today. It was very challenging to open the road so I am happy with what we have done."
"It was very unfortunate what happened with the puncture. The speed has been much better than on the last rallies and I think there is more to come so... power stage?!"
"I'm glad we were able to continue today and we will see how things go tomorrow."
"It's really hot! I'm happy to finish the day and I know what we need to improve to close the gap next time. It's really incredible to see so many people not just on the stages but on the road sections too!"
"It's good but, okay, we had a puncture in the last stage so we were quite disappointed. We will try our best and not give up tomorrow. Thank you!"
retired for today - punctures
"The new car is working well so I am really happy. I can be satisfied with my performance."
"It was quite a fun stage to do. There's a lot of people which is always nice. I could have done better but it's always hard to know where the grip is the first time."
"Now we are out of the game it's not so exciting to drive in these conditions but what can we do?"
"Not a good day. I have struggled with my driving and a bit with the car. We know tomorrow's stages really well so we will try to have a push."
"I had a puncture out of nowhere in the last stage. The stages are much more rough than I was expecting so you can't drive flat out all the time. We're trying to take some time out of Kopecky but we don't have any spare pairs left, so we need to be careful."
"I had a puncture in the last stage. First on the road will be difficult tomorrow - it's not the same now."
"We had no brakes at all. I can not do anything with this car. Maybe I hit something but I didn't feel anything. A car without brakes is very difficult to drive."
"Difficult. We had another problem in the stage. When we were on the fast sections the engine was not working but on the other places it was fine. There's nothing to play for now so it's frustrating for the team."
"I stalled the engine on a hairpin. It took quite a long time to get it started again. It's very disappointing but it is what it is. Let's see what Teemu does."
"The time is surprisingly good. I need to be very careful with my tyres but, anyway, it's pretty good."
"It's all sorted; it was something really simple."
"When it gets really rough I seem to lose a bit of pace to the others. There's still some work to do."
"We knew today was going to be difficult. The most frustrating thing is the mistake I made this morning."
"We've been trying hard this afternoon, but the conditions are not so consistent. We're trying our best and I am happy with today."
"We're working into it. It's been getting better and better. When we select stage mode the car stops and it takes me 10-seconds to get it restarted. It's still mega fun!"
"It's great but let's see how the next one goes."
"This one I took a little bit easier because I want to save tyres for the last stage. We lost some time here but it's okay. I'm glad we have good tyres for the last stage."
"If I don't get the time back then there is something wrong. I just need to get the compensation for this."
"I had to try and get it going. It's not perfect - there's something strange - but it's not bad."
stopped, electrical issue
"I had a puncture warning light with around 10kms to go. I think I have a soft tyre somewhere."
loosing time in a dust behind Evans
"I had a very good stage. I am happy with the drive and what I can do. It's okay but it's not perfect."
"It was quite rough and loose in places but generally a clean run."
"It was a good run for us. We had a little bit of a push and everything was working well. I'm happy with that."
"We try to push because I think it's only these afternoon stages where we can go fast. Tomorrow we will be cleaning the road for everybody."
"It's not too bad. A lot of loose rocks to be honest, but that's the only thing. For sure, the surface is abrasive."
"Good. Really hot! That's the first time I've really managed to get the car working on hard compound tyres. It felt okay."
"The stage was okay. I am struggling a little bit with the car still but we improved the settings after this morning, so it's already better."
"I did well but the conditions are much more loose now. For sure now it will be harder."
"I have no idea what the time is like. We are going to try and push."
stopped, continued. Low fuel pressure
stopped, continued. Low fuel pressure
stopped on road section
"I was a bit slow because I didn't want to damage the tyres in here. For sure, I can go much faster."
"I was a bit worried with the tyre wear at the beginning of the stage because the surface was quite hard. They should be okay for the next one. I am really surprised at how quick Ott can drive with his road position!"
"I thought we had a really good stage - In kept it on the line all stage. The time is a bit surprising: it's not so bad, but it could be better!"
"I pushed in this one. I thought we did a good stage but the time is not great. The conditions were good in this one."
"I didn't get one note the whole stage. Simple stuff. Luckily Seb's hand signals were quite okay!"
"I stalled the engine at a junction and it took some time to restart the car".
"The feeling is okay but from this position we are trying to do everything we can. It's difficult to perform miracles in these conditions; it's a long day!"
"It was not so bad. There was some difficult parts but I enjoyed the car. I'm happy."
"It was okay start but there is a lot of dust. I think we need an air filter for the cockpit - it's sometimes difficult to breathe!"
"The road is cleaning so this is helping for sure. Dust is quite bad but it is what it is - it should get better now."
"I don't see a clear line to be honest - it's not easy."
"A lot of dust at the start of the stage which made it very tricky. I tried to find a rhythm but it was very slippery. Difficult!"
"It's okay - I don't feel it was perfect to be honest. All okay."
"I was too careful in the first part of the stage. In the end it was getting better so I could go faster. Very tricky with visibility."
"I tried my best. Friday is so crucial. It will be difficult today - we had dust from Ogier. Cleaning is massive today".
"Like expected - very slippery. It will be a tough weekend."