WRC » 9 February 2012
Rally Sweden - Pre-event press conference
Rally Sweden 2012 pre-event press conference with Petter Solberg, Patrik Sandell, Mikko Hirvonen and Mads Ostberg.
Drivers: Petter Solberg (Ford World Rally Team), Patrik Sandell (MINI WRC Team), Mikko Hirvonen (Citroen Total World Rally Team) and Mads Østberg (Adapta WRT).
Petter, third step of the podium in Monte Carlo just a few weeks ago, how are you feeling ahead of Rally Sweden?
Well, Monaco was a great rally with lots of good experience. The car was fantastic. We have had two days testing and it was very, very cold. Because the conditions weren't quite the same, the feeling wasn't quite the same at shakedown, but we adapted quickly and it got very good after that. We are ready.
Is it fair that all of the rallies are home events for Petter? We went from Monaco to Norway where he also has a home… The stage tomorrow goes right past his home!
I am always moving around a little bit, making sure there is always a round in my country! That first stage, I have a farm in the middle of the stage – don't cut that right-hand corner! Actually, it's great. This relationship between Sweden and Norway makes this rally very much stronger for the future. It's just perfect for the future. The co-operation between them is very good.
We have, for the first time, 'Qualifying' for road position – how did you find that, did it generate a bit more tension and were there any tactics going on?
I can tell you there has been a lot of bull***t about the start position, you can't trust anybody! I can't say anything before this evening when we choose. But where Mikko chooses, I will be just behind him. It was good fun this morning. I think this is a great thing to have – you become a little nervous a little earlier, but it's great for spectators and the media. It's one more thing added like the power stage. Why not?
Jari-Matti is the team's number one driver this year. What does that mean for you on this event?
Well… I have won the rally before. We are a team and we want to do well. We have to finish high and hopefully the Citroën guys will be far, far behind. I want the speed like Monaco, but we have to build it, not be a hero on the first day.
Come on, you have to win the stage which goes past your house…
Hey, no! You saw what happened on your corner last year in Finland. We saw what happened when you brought a few people to watch… I'm not bringing people, not anybody to that place!
You said on Swedish television you would win the stage!
You are talking too much! Hey, I love this rally and we will have some fun.
Patrik, great to see you back as part of the WRC and at your home event - we will see you compete this weekend in the MINI John Cooper Works WRC, how much are you looking forward to it?
It's really good! I had a good feeling in the car straight away.
How much testing has been done with the MINI? Are you happy with the set-up?
Tagged as: Ford , Mikko Hirvonen , Petter Solberg , Sweden , Sandell , Citroën , Ostberg , Patrik Sandell , MINI , Rally Sweden , Adapta , Mads Ostberg
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