3 April 2010
Jordan Rally - Post-event press conference
First of all it's a big difference from my last year's birthday when I was rolling down a mountain in Portugal, and this time I'm on the podium so it's a bit different so I feel much more comfortable and now I can enjoy much more this evening. I was pleased with the weekend. I could not match the speed of Sébastien today and yesterday but we were still closer than two years ago.
How tough was it sweeping the road clear yesterday, did you lose more time than you expected?
I could not find rhythm to drive in that stage (Jordan River), being first car on the road. It was very difficult for me, both times. Even the second time it was as difficult as the morning one, or maybe even more difficult as the lines were so narrow. So that is something for the future to think about.
And what about today, did you start pushing immediately this morning or did you realise that the gap was just too big?
I gained the maximum on the first stage this morning, I really pushed as fast as I can. I had two moments and when I came in at the end of the stage our difference was 0.4 seconds and I thought, that's it, I didn't have a chance to catch Seb so then I started to back off in the next stage. And then I noticed that Petter is coming quick, so I had to start pushing again in stage two.
This year has got off to a great start for you, three consistent performances and now second place overall. In contrast to last year it's a vast improvement…
Yes last year was such a disaster but, on the other hand, we learned a lot of things. If I had been driving fast, I haven't been consistent. I have done good stage times but I haven't been able to do many good results. So we started working last year with Mikko and some other people, we have done a lot of progress and we are going forward. It's very good but we have still work to do and you need that consistency if you want to win the Drivers' title one day. But, perhaps, it's going now, it looks good.
Was there pressure on your shoulders to finish after your team-mate Mikko retired yesterday?
Well, for sure, there is some more pressure but, on the other hand, the job that we did until the point that Mikko retired, it was like a normal performance from us and we just continued the same job that we were doing. Our role this year is to keep, if something happens, like yesterday, the pressure on the car in front and we were doing that well yesterday.
Petter, your second podium of the season, this time it's third overall. You must be pleased with yet another strong performance?
Yes, very pleased actually. It's been really good fun. The thing I have to improve also is…in Mexico we did two days testing before the rally. Here I didn't do anything and it's a new rally, different type of surface so I had to cut back a little bit, it's a little bit too much already this year. At the end of the day my result here is absolutely fantastic. It worked very well and it was in just one stage, both times, that I lost a lot of time. Every other stage was absolutely perfect. But I am happy to be third and I hope not to lose a lot of time on a long stage again.
That's the Jordan River stage you are talking about, Jari-Matti said he feels that's where his rally disappeared. Why were you losing so much time on that stage?
I didn't get the proper rhythm and I struggled, but every other stage was working absolutely perfect. The first day was working very well, but then I thought this would be difficult and I lost a lot of time – I was 16s behind Latvala this morning. The biggest difference is between first and second car and after that it's difficult, with the tyres getting warm and you try to gain time and it's at the end of the stage so you have to drive very sensibly with these tyres. This is what I learned on this rally and I took down all these details, so it doesn't happen again.
You began the day with Jari-Matti in your sights, when did you realise that second position was slightly out of touch?
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