27 May 2012
Acropolis Rally - Post-event press conference
In Finland we are pushing all of the time – just to explain, he [Elena] understands what he says, but maybe not everybody else does…
But with such intense battles, it must have been exhausting?
Yes, we had four drivers on the limit; one time is one, second is the second, but this is funny; it's adrenaline and I like that. It's interesting to fight.
Mikko, congratulations, but why didn't we see you in a battle at the front of the field this weekend? Was it the team plan that you measure your pace?
It was definitely not the team plan. I wanted to stay in the fight we were in on Friday morning, but then the stages dried out, we got more grip and I struggled a little bit. Then I lost more and more time, then you've lost the last push you need. In some sections you start to hesitate, which you never do when, like these guys, you are in the fight. Then I said: “Okay, let's avoid the mistakes and get to the finish.” This is not so bad for the team.
Was it frustrating?
I have to think about things, why they are not going so well. Some things were not exactly similar to Argentina and maybe this makes the difference for me. When I dropped down on Friday, when we had the dust and puncture we were 30s behind. I should have pushed harder – it was not so good drive for me on Saturday.
Can you be more specific?
No, I won't. I know, but not talk about it. On the next rally, I will be faster.
You commented yesterday that it was like driving in Monte Carlo on snow and ice with slicks during the afternoon stages - was it really that slippery?!
It was really that slippery. It's amazing; actually, it's really difficult. When it rains on those stages, it makes it so difficult: the mud fills the tyre and you slide on the top. It's tricky and it's changing all the time. It's definitely not easy in these conditions.
It was frustrating for you, Jarmo?
Frustrating is right, when you don't fight at the top. We are experienced enough to know this was not our weekend, so we avoid the mistakes and keep the car in place. We got the present this morning [Solberg's retirement].
There was good and bad this weekend?
You always need to find a positive. And we found a lot about what went wrong and we will be a lot stronger in New Zealand
Are you more confident for New Zealand?
For sure. It's one of the most enjoyable rallies. You don't need to worry about tyre wear or breaking the car, the roads are so smooth - it's going to be a good weekend for everybody.
Jari-Matti, it started incredibly well, three stage wins straight off the bat and a fantastic battle with Sébastien Loeb - it went badly wrong yesterday when you slid wide on the opening stage of the morning and hit a bank which caused a puncture. You inherited third when Petter retired - what is your assessment of the weekend?
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