After SS8, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Citroen C3 WRC) lead the Rallye Monte-Carlo.
Sébastien Ogier (leader)
It hasn’t been a bad day Seb…
It’s been a tricky day with difficult tyre choices. The conditions we have seen on the three stages have been completely different. It’s about keeping out of trouble and trying to stay in a safe rhythm. If you try to push it’s so easy to do a mistake. I’m very pleased to be first on my first day in the C3, but Thierry is very close. All the time we are more or less together, but we already made a difference to the others, that’s good
What do you know about tomorrow’s conditions?
Honestly not much. I have some information soon enough from our gravel crew and I hope I can make the right tyre choice. Today it was right in the morning then they cancel SS1 and out strategy is not good anymore, but it benefits the Hyundais. This afternoon was close, but maybe it would be slightly better for the studs.
Great support here as usual…
Like always the support is fantastic. It’s such a chance to have a home rally in the championship and I enjoy so much to race here every year. Tomorrow will be even better with the roads in my valley where I was born.
Thierry Neuville (2nd at 2″ – Hyundai i20 WRC)
Thierry, that’s quite a recovery to come from 14s down to just two seconds…
I had a big smile at the end of the last stage because I knew I had done a good stage. I did not expect to catch so much time, like Seb said he was a bit more careful. We had good information from the gravel crew. I made mistake two stages before and lost 20s – that could have been our advantage tonight. But we had a good rhythm and we’re enjoying it a lot. I’m a bit disappointed we could not have the advantage with a good tyre choice this afternoon.
Tell us about that mistake…
I was definitely too quick, it was actually the first corner on the stage and this was the first time I was on full studs with the car. It wouldn’t turn as I expected it to, so I took the safe option and went on the road next to the stage. It was 20s quickly lost.
What about tomorrow?
We all know this is a very demanding rally where you need a good rhythm for the whole weekend. We will keep that rhythm and make good tyre choices if the conditions are tricky tomorrow. I hope the fight continues and everybody van enjoy and make a good show.
Andreas Mikkelsen (3rd at 1’17″7 – Hyundai i20 WRC)
Andreas we’ve seen a great recovery from you today…
It has been a good recovery. Yesterday didn’t start so well, but the team was quite lucky this morning and this cancelled stage helped us for sure. It’s tricky out there today, but we had a nice rhythm – not too much. We stayed in the rhythm and I felt comfortable in the car for the first time. I was at one and it was really nice.
But Jari-Matti’s coming and chasing for third…
It’s been a big battle for third, we snatched it on the last stage from Jar and Seb is also close. But tomorrow we know the stages well, we were fast here last year.
What can we expect tomorrow?
We will see when the [gravel] crews go through tomorrow morning, but I’m sure it will be a difficult day tomorrow.
This is a good start to the year though?
This is more or less the first day and things can change… but we’ll push hard tomorrow and see what we can do.