4 May 2013
Rally Argentina - Post-event press conference
As you mentioned, the most important is to finish the rally with good points and we scored 20 points. So again, it's a very good advantage and we're staying in the lead. But of course, at the end we felt a little bit of frustration. We know that the car is very young and we've still got some struggles in these conditions. But we had a really great start to the rally, I think our pace was very good but unfortunately, to beat Seb you need not only a good pace, you also need to be consistent and have no problems. We had a bit too many problems this weekend. But it is still a good result.
You mentioned problems there. Was the handbrake an issue when you went off the road?
It was a really tricky corner with a lot of gravel. Also there was a lot of mud. In these conditions you need the handbrake to work. The problem is that mine was not working since the last stage. I didn't feel it because nobody uses the handbrake too much. At that time, it just locked my front wheels and in that case you just go straight and I had no other chance than to go off the road. Luckily, we did not get stuck in a ditch so that was the most important thing. After that, it was still possible to be in the fight, to put a little pressure on Mikko [Hirvonen], and we did, and on Seb as well. Unfortunately then we had a puncture and the game was over.
So, that's when you realised you couldn't push anymore?
Yes, then it was. It was too late to take a risk like that and especially because Mikko was not there anymore.
Has this been one of the toughest events so far for you guys in the Volkswagen team?
Yes, for sure. It was almost the roughest event in this year. But we still have to see what it is going to be like in Greece. But I think here it was already a little bit of hardness and we knew that we would have to be very careful so we were doing the job between the stages as we did in Portugal also. For a young car, we can be already proud.
From your perspective as a co-driver what is the challenge of Argentina? What is the most difficult thing?
It wasn't easy. There are long stages and two stages that you do two times so it's different than when you do three or four stages in a row. And with different parts, and sometimes big straight lines and you have to catch another rhythm. There are also other impacts that you cannot imagine during the recce. For me, this is it.
Welcome to the podium for the first time here in Argentina. Jari-Matti, third position after a great battle with Evgeny Novikov today! You obviously won that battle. How does it feel to be on the podium here?
It was really great to be on the podium first of all here in Argentina, I've never been on the podium here. It was my sixth time and also we had a really great day fighting with Evgeny Novikov. I'm really happy with the fight with him. I've been up and down but the final day was really good.
You seemed a little frustrated at the start of the event but things got better, did you make any changes to the car or to yourself?
I came to this rally with completely new differentials and there were little things that we have to guess what we will do, because when you change things you should test but we didn't have a test so it was a little bit of guessing with some of the set-ups and we also did some experiments with the suspension. Finally we got everything right for the last day but then I also had some issues on the first day with the handbrake, it wasn't working, I lost some time with that but then also my driving wasn't on the level of Seb [Loeb] and Ogier but then it was good. I just need more days like these.
Were you really on your limit today?
The Mina Clavero stage second time I have to say I came so fast over the bumps taking the risks because there were big stones and I was counting that the sand would keep us on the road. I couldn't really increase the speed anymore on that stage. That was the best that I can give and I thought if Evgeny [Novikov] is going to be quicker than I am then maybe I can quit rally.
Do you think that you are ready to go out and start challenging for the win? You seem a little frustrated that you weren't up within the top three at the start of the week.
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