18. Rally Italia Sardegna 2021
3. 6. – 6. 6. 2021, Olbia • Automobile Club d'Italia • gravel 303.10 km • total distance including road sections - 1364.74 km • Other years
"It's been an incredible weekend. Coming here first on the road, we were thinking we better stay home. We did some good job in the test and the car was working much better than in Portugal. We had an amazing day on Friday, and yesterday we managed to climb back up to the top. For sure, it's good for the championship. I had a misfire for a long time after the water splash. We survived, but lost a couple of seconds there. A very good weekend."
"It took in some water and took a while to clear. Thankfully we got back on four cylinders and at least we were able to continue Not the nicest feeling. A great result. Not the start of the weekend we wanted, and that's really when the damage was done. It's been a good weekend for the team, and we can be pleased about that, it's just a shame we won't have any points now in the power stage."
"We just followed the plan and the only option was to finish. A lot of things happened and this is part of the game. I am pretty happy with what I have done in the last three days. Everything is okay, and I will try to push especially in Estonia and Finland."
"I don’t know. It was a few things which came together which didn't work out properly. I want to thank the team because before Portugal they only had one-and-a-half days to repair the car. I am sorry I couldn't deliver this weekend, but at least we are going home with a podium for the team. Better times will come."
stalled engine after water splash
"The positive is, at the end with all the retirements, we take quite okay points for the manufacturer. The speed on some stages was okay, but nothing much more positive. We go home a little bit disappointed, but sometimes it's like this."
"For sure, the Hyundai team have done a great job to get me on this level in this car. The car is really fast now, so there is nothing stopping us, just the small things. It's a fast car, and we just need to make it reliable. I am sure we can do it."
"The road is still cleaning - I think the smaller cars are making the line go away, and there was many places without any lines. I tried, but let's see."
"The responsibility of the car is not up to me, I'm just here to drive it. I am happy with what I have done, and Stu [Loudon] has done a fantastic job stepping in as well. Looking forward to getting on the flight home and looking forward to Kenya."
"It's a disappointing rally for us with the mistake that happened on Friday. We couldn't do much more now, but at least we have some experience from the tyres and the car on gravel. We need to reset and try to be stronger in the next one."
"We had some problems with the engine in this stage and the one before. Luckily it's enough. It's an unbelievable feeling. After a long, long break, I think it was quite a good rally for me. Every day we had some problems, which meant the pace was not what we wanted, but we are here."
"I don't know. It was not a good stage - I have a leak in my brake system again. I couldn't feel it on the road section. I have done all in my power to be fast. I have been a mechanic and a driver and all sorts. It's been a tough weekend - I hope it pays off."
"It was very tough, and also very eventful for us. At the end, I am happy with our pace. We need to keep it like this and keep working. Maybe I was a bit out of focus at the beginning, but I want to thank the team because they have been working a lot."
"It's not the weekend I expected. After the water splash we had an engine issue, so I had to stop and start again. It's a shame for the power stage, and it's a big disappointment for the first day of the rally."
"I rolled. I was a bit out of line, and then I lost the car. It was a very fast roll - just one time and I continued immediately. I think the car is without damage."
"I am so annoyed! All the things happening all the time. I touched absolutely nothing and I already have a puncture."
"It is pretty tricky. Really difficult to drive without mistakes."
"It was a high-speed recce. Not really a push yet, it's only in the last one where I have to try."
"It's not an easy stage. Very narrow in places, but generally the car is working well. It's quite mixed grip as you join the gravel part near the end."
"It's the only thing we can still try to attempt some extra points. I am struggling. If we can get away with a third place this weekend, it would be a pretty good result for us."
"I am pretty sure it will be very different. Let's see - we will find out."
"We are on the plan to bring the car back and concentrate on my job."
"I don't know - let's see. Very slippery. The car is moving a lot and I don't have confidence. The tyres are in quite bad condition, but I don't know."
"I've got the same problem as yesterday again. It kept flashing on the dash, and I took my eye off the road a number of times."
"It was really nice to drive. A lot of different places with different corners."
"Of course, that's the only thing we need to do today. Try to go through the first three, and if the feeling is there, we try to get more points later."
"We wanted to make sure there was no late charge from Neuville this morning, so that obviously makes things a bit easier. We've just got to keep it going."
"I just had a smooth stage. To be honest, it's the dame story every day. I am not able to go much faster without pushing hard and taking risks. I can't keep the car in the line."
"It's okay - all fine. I had to slow drive. It's all fine."
"We need to try to take some points in the power stage, and that's all we can do."
"Let's say, for sure I didn't sleep well. It is like it is."
"It's one of the better stages of the rally, that's for sure. A bit of hesitation in my notes, it was like some things just weren't sinking quite right, but a pretty good stage."
"We need to save the tyres. Let's try to get a good feeling for the power stage."
"Quite an interesting stage. Technical at the beginning with some really loose gravel, and the last part is really fast."
"It was a great day. Our pace-notes and setup allowed us to attack and get very good times. Tomorrow everything can happen ... but we will continue as today and look for the strong points in the PowerStage."
"I have used all my power today to repair the car many times and also to drive as fast as possible. It's been a very demanding day, but we are within striking distance, that's for sure."
"I think I have to push tomorrow if I want to win, but let's see. It's also important to take the points, because in Finland we retired. Let's see what we can do."
"I think it's been a perfect weekend for us so far. We did everything we had to do, and we need to finish the job tomorrow."
"Obviously, it’s not where you want to be - fighting over the last podium places let's say. It's Sardinia, and these things happen. We have to try and be good tomorrow, they are new stages, and it's not easy."
"The gap is quite big, and I had a try on some stages, but I don't have the speed. We tried some settings, we changed the dampers, but we don't get it working all together. I really struggle to find the performance we need, despite having the feeling that I am quite on the edge sometimes. I can't do much more."
"This is not my way to get fourth place. I am not happy, but this is life, and life is not easy."
"It was a really long day. When you have some issues and you know the result is gone, it's really difficult to drive and try to enjoy it. Full focus tomorrow for the power stage."
"I haven't been driving on the gravel for seven months or so, so it is great to get some more time."
"It's a shame for him [Sordo] for sure. At the same time, now we can relax more."
lost a wheel
"I can't say anything. It's okay - I will try to concentrate on the next one."
He stopped right after the start - looks like the crew forgot to remove the radiator blank!
"It has been cleaning a lot. For sure, there is a clear line now, but it's much better on the second pass."
"It went well at the beginning, but after that I was feeling like the car was understeering and the tyres were gone. It was something really strange - at one moment the car started to understeer a lot. I don't know."
"I prefer to be in the position I am now, but it's still a rough afternoon and very abrasive for the tyres. I tried to stay very smooth, and the target is to stay out of trouble."
"I didn't have any sensation of grip at all at the start. We should have been a bit faster because it's cleaning a lot in there, and even now the grip was still very, very low."
"I am on full hards now. I don't know, I drove like hell, but I don't think the time is good enough. I think I should have been quicker than the cars in front of me."
"It's quite different. In some corners you have very good grip, then suddenly you have no grip. For sure, we are cleaning, but it's kind of a new experience so I am happy."
"I think it is cleaning a lot. In the morning it was much more enjoyable to drive, but now it's really slippery and tricky."
"I haven't been in that stage when it has been that slippery. We need to get through and get a good feeling."
"It happened on the road section. On the way back to service, a bolt came out of the cross member and the whole wheel came off. We repaired everything we could, fixed it and carried on again, and then it came off again. We had to go like this a few times."
"I didn't understand the pace notes at one point and I lost a little bit. Let's keep on trying."
"It was not really a push. It was a clean drive and it’s a very slippery stage. New notes, and a very narrow section, so I tried to stay in the line."
"Really still loose as heck for us to be honest. Very low grip, and I'm sure the cleaning is having quite an effect in there."
"We didn't have any moments. We had a good stage, but the tyres on the rear are too soft I think. They got a bit hot towards the end."
"I think it is cleaning a lot. There is so many loose rocks and I think the guys at the front are cleaning a lot. Even now, I am cleaning."
"Really scary. It was one of the most slippery stages I have ever done. It was crazy - I was going so slow, but still it was so slippery. So much cleaning in there."
"Super tricky. There is a lot of loose gravel and no grip at all. It's cleaning and getting better, so maybe the next loop should be better."
"We have repaired it, so it seems to be working fine again. A bit of a dramatic morning for us with some issues in the first pass, but it feels a little calmer now. Hopefully everything is fine."
"It's a different job now, especially with the roughness. It's quite difficult, so it needs a lot of a focus and fingers crossed."
"I don't know what tyres the others have, but for me, I can't do much better. I don't know - they are too fast for me."
"I think it's a good loop. We try to make some gap if we can for the second place, but there is still a long way to go."
"It's going better. A bit of a strange feeling in some places - let's say not perfect - but generally working okay."
"In this stage, I pushed a bit more. In the ruts, the car is more stable, so I can go a little bit faster. I am not sure if it's enough but hopefully we can keep up the pressure on Elfyn."
"I am not sure. It's okay, we can survive this. In this one, I stalled and lost 10sec or something, so I am not happy about that."
"I don't know. I am pushing - I don't understand."
"We knew the car seems to be working a lot better on the second pass, so we followed the same premise as yesterday. It seems to be getting better stage by stage."
"It's a lot cleaner now. The line is quite narrow, so it's difficult to keep the rear in the line, but the main thing is to get the feeling back in the car."
"I was just trying to enjoy the stage. I tried to up the speed a bit, but it felt really rough in the car already. In the next one, I will take care of the car more not to have any issues."
"The car feels very good. We are in a comfortable position. I’m looking forward to repeat these sections on the second loop."
"Immediately in the stage, I broke a brake pipe, so I have done the whole of the stage without brakes on the right rear."
"In this one I was already easing up and trying to be in a good rhythm, but as smoothly as possible."
"So far, so good. I think the tyre choice was not too bad for me this morning. It looks like it's working."
"We were a bit steady at the start and struggled to get the feeling with the tyres we have. After that, it got much better, and we were driving better through there."
"Not so good to be honest. I am not that confident to push. I am hesitating in all the rough. I went with a damper which we developed for Kenya and I thought it was going to work, but I am not sure if we are going the right way."
"In the middle of the road, a very fast section, there was a helmet-sized rock. It was impossible to avoid. The car just jumped, and there is a big hole under the under guard. Hopefully it's okay, but it was a big moment!"
"The stage was nice, so I tried to do my best."
"It seems we made a good step this morning. The driving felt better than the time suggests, so I'll have a look in regroup and see where we lost time."
"For now, we don't really test anything, we just drive. This one was really tricky with two hards [tyres] on the car."
"This stage was a bit drier, and a bit more loose gravel than on the stage before. Still, quite okay."
"The conditions were nice, and grip was actually quite high. So far, so good."
"I don't know. The engine stalled, and I lost a lot of time there. Maybe some water coming in, but now it is working okay."
"I wasn't sure if it was perfect to be honest. A few places weren't fully on the button, but it was a fairly committed run. I'm happy with that compared to yesterday, of course."
"I had a good stage. It's quite rough in sections, so I couldn't really push in some places. We are going to try and adapt that for the next stage, which will be tough as well. I don't know if I can do much more."
"Much better grip than I expected, and I feel pretty good in the car. Quite careful in some sections, but I will try to continue like this on the next one."
"I am a bit disappointed with the time, but it's okay."
"We made some changes from yesterday, and the car feels better again. I made a couple of mistakes and lost a few seconds in there."
"It was nice to be back on the stage and finish it this time. For sure, it was better than last year."
"It's a bit damp, but the grip level surprisingly high. I just have to get used to the car and get back into a good rhythm."
"It's been a good day and I am purely focusing on my own strategy. It's very rough, so I slowed down a lot because I don't want to risk it with a puncture or a broken wishbone or anything. Things happen so easily on these type of stages, so I will carry on with my strategy and just push when I am happy."
"I am happy with that. Not so much with my performance. We did some changes before this stage, and it felt quite good. I think we have found the path to follow on set-up. We need to keep working and we will see results."
"It was okay. I was happy. In the first passes, I was not happy with the confidence, but now it's better. We are second, so it's not bad."
"It's nothing new - it was the same in Portugal and that's why we need to be very focussed tomorrow. I had a very smooth, clean run, and obviously a better road position than the guys in front of me."
"Unfortunately not our day. We struggled in the first two stages, but then we had a lot of trouble and two punctures without hitting anything and staying in the middle of the road. We could have probably closed in the gap to Ogier without the puncture, and a stall in the last stage now. Quite a lot of things we have to sort."
"Not great. We wanted more from the day. We're still here, but not as quickly as we would have liked to be here."
"I think it's been a very good day for us. We can be happy with it. There was of course no chance to fight with Ott, but dominating Elfyn and Thierry was of course really good for us."
"We have no brakes. We don't want to give up."
"I made a small change coming into the stage which seems to have helped the car become a lot more stable."
"In the morning with soft tyres, the car moved a lot. Now, I put on hard tyres and I felt a lot more confident with myself with the grip and the pace notes."
"No stalls - so I must be happy! I was quite careful, it is very easy to go off or hit something. Hopefully next year will be much better."
"It's been good. This stage, we gambled a little bit with the tyres, but I am happy they worked. We can save some softs."
"I don't know. I felt like we were having a puncture. I tried to carry on with the rhythm, but there were so many stones that the rim was struggling all the time."
"I think things are already working a bit better this afternoon. I've not really had the rhythm I would have liked today, but we're slowly starting to chip away. We have to keep working and not give up."
"I did everything I can today. Road position will be important tomorrow. We have to try to finish well in the last one."
"It is warm, but the stages are not so long, luckily."
"We had a spin at the beginning. After that it was a very difficult stage, especially the last part. I am happy to be at the finish of this."
"It is really tricky - when it's like that, it's better to try and take pleasure."
"It's okay - you need to think all the time about the tyres. It's crazy, but when you can drive well and you don't care, the times are good."
"I hope it's not technical, just myself I think. Three times in one day is not nice. I hope the car is okay as always, let's see."
"This one is so slippery. Today is our chance to build some gap."
"I couldn't rotate the car, and there was a small gate. I went into neutral and had to re-engage gear, so I lost a few seconds there. I felt like I did a really good stage without the mistake."
"It's still not fantastic. I've not got the ultimate confidence that I would like. It seems to be getting a bit better, but not exactly where I'd like to be."
"This one is the most terrible. I expect to lose the most in this one - especially in the end section, there is absolutely zero grip."
"We tried to do some changes to suit these stages, but this is a horrendous stage to be honest. In one place, we hit a rock and stopped for some time in the middle. It didn't feel good at all."
"We have to keep improving. This was a very difficult stage - we hit a rock with the rear left. I am looking forward for the next stage - it's better."
"We have on objective - we know what we have to do."
"That was busy. Really tricky. I was struggling with the car in there - I just couldn't get it to stay straight - so we'll make some changes for the second pass."
"It's very, very loose and a really slow stage. The car was sliding all the time, and I was taking care of the tyres because it was so hot and I don't know what it looks like."
"Quite cautious, and I stalled once again - I don't know why."
"This one, I thought I would lose quite a bit. I felt really slow, but I was clean through. The feeling was better than last year, but I was not happy with the run."
"It wasn't enough in this one, but I have too many surprises we the bottoming and crashing through. I can't rely on what I see, but we try."
"It was very slippery in there - a lot more loose than I expected. Maybe softs [tyres] would have been a bit more preferable in here, but that's how it is."
"Very very difficult. Incredibly slippery - much more than last year in there."
"I was a little bit stuck in the dust for the last half of the stage. I tried to push - for sure I was on the limit."
"On a left-hand corner, in a cut, the car just switched sides and I wanted to go to the right. I thought it had snapped something in the steering, but when we rolled the car over to continue, it felt okay. I have no idea."
"Difficult for me. I had some difficulties to be confident, and some things to change I think. We will try."
"I am quite happy. I had a little bit of bad luck as I had problems with one tyre. Let's see, in this stage, one of the tyres was really bad so we couldn't push so hard. We are here, and the time is not bad, so it's okay."
"We stalled the engine, and we couldn't stop into some gate. I lost nearly nearly 10sec I think. It's still the beginning of the rally."
stopped, mechanical issue
"It's tough, it's rough, and it's a challenge. Let's say, we are really happy to be here without any dramas."
"It's very rough in there, and I really struggled to keep the steering wheel. I had a lot of impacts through the steering wheel."
hit a bale
"I can't get any sensation through the car at the moment. It's tricky out there, and it's not easy when it's narrow like this. You need the confidence in you."
"It's a little bit rough. I think I am happy with my loop - I did everything I could this morning."
"It was okay. I saved some softs [tyres]. I am trying to drive clever now - it's quite rough. I don't know these tyres so well, so I am a bit careful of the stones and just trying to keep it neat and tidy."
"The feeling is not that bad, so we will try to manage. We enjoyed this stage a lot, it was nice. We have to continue."
"We took the same set-up as Portugal, but we didn't have a test. It was really soft this morning and the car wasn't reacting. It was better in there, but there's still a lot to improve on."
"I have a problem before with the tyres, and I had a little bit of issue with the tyre again. I have to be careful now - I didn't push like crazy."
"I expected even better grip, but it's still quite slippery and I am not so confident driving on this stage. The next one is a different type of stage, so I will try to study and push on some sections."
"The feeling was nice, I was really enjoying it. I had some delamination in the front tyre."
"Just a bit stiffer and higher. A very clean stage. Quite many surprises coming already, so I guess next time will be even harder."
"It's never that easy to open the second loop. I was very happy with the time this morning - I think we did a great job."
”.. I am not satisfied. We need to be faster. It has been a very tricky and difficult section. I think it will be more harder on the second pass .. ”.
"We have the same tyre strategy [as Mikkelsen]. I am quite pleased."
"It was difficult for us, but it's okay. We will try to improve and take the confidence."
"That felt like a good stage. I don't really feel like I've got any grip - I don't know what more I could have done in there."
"It's so narrow, and you are all the time sideways. I was feeling I had not very good pace notes at the beginning of the stage. I missed a little bit of confidence. The co-driver is doing very well, but I lost a little bit in some places."
"Just carefully driving. I can push more, but we just need to see what is happening. Let's continue like that."
"I stalled the car. It was a really difficult stage, I have to say. The grip was changing all the time, and it was really hard to know where the grip changes were."
"It's demanding. It's really demanding. Many surprises - not so easy, but we are here. It's important to keep it in one piece."
"We didn't have a good rhythm at all in the stage. I am not able to drive the car fast. I am really not confident with the handling, and that's where we are losing the time."
"I am struggling with the overall confidence. It's not working so well this morning."
"First half was okay, but it's a difficult one. Very narrow at the end and a lot of stones."
"It felt good. Not optimal tyre choice for this stage, but I did my best with what I have."
"We will try to do a clean run and take back the confidence step by step. I was driving a bit slowly, but we want to take back the confidence."
"The feeling was quite okay, but I was a little bit careful in the stage because of the tyres. We are checking all the pace notes - it's a new stage, and it was good."
"I try to survive this rally and get new experience. That is the main target for me on this rally, so let's see what I can do."
"I think the target is to really enjoy these stages a bit more and get the feeling in the car. It was difficult to start in these conditions. It's a good start, quite careful, but let's try to keep it up like this."
"We are here, and generally it was not so bad."
"No issues. I couldn't really attack. I didn't feel the precision you need in there, and we are going to work a bit on that. I didn't feel to push more."
"I didn't have the best stage to be honest. I struggled to find a really good rhythm and it was not really that smooth. We need to improve for the next one for sure."
"Like expected. It's a nice day. I tried to enjoy it, but I know I'm going to lose a lot of time."