Citroen team principal Pierre Budar was pleased with his crews’ performance in Rally Sweden. Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm were on the podium there. Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia managed to salvage a couple of points after an early mistake.
How would you describe the performance of Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm?
This was a great performance which we knew they were capable of. But they still impressed us again with their relaxed, controlled approach. Gradually improved their rhythm after their spin on day one. As the stages progressed, they pushed more and more without making any other mistakes. It’s really positive to see them obtain the second best result of their WRC career in only their second rally in the C3 WRC. Especially as they’re both so calm and determined, and a huge pleasure to work with.
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, on the other hand, were very unlucky…
We knew how tough it would be for them to open the road here, where grip levels on the stages tend to increase as more cars compete. That is exactly how it was working out, although they were doing very well up until they made their minor mistake. They managed to react well, refusing to be discouraged and working with the team on getting to know the C3 WRC. Indeed, their unwavering determination was rewarded on the Power Stage.
Like Esapekka and Janne, they also proved – with three stage wins – that our car is definitely at ease on these stages. It is, however, a tough event to get to grips with. We don’t race on ice and snow very often at all. We are encouraged by these performances to continue our efforts and to keep the good form going in Mexico. There we can expect the fight at the front to be just as intense as it was here in Sweden.
Meanwhile: the highlight of the weekend in Sweden, by Janne Ferm
“Throughout the weekend, the atmosphere in the cockpit of our C3 WRC was one of calm, concentration and determination, and [Sunday] morning was no different. I was convinced that we were capable of finishing second. But I’m also too familiar with the world of rallying to know it’s never over until it’s over. We pushed all the way, tackling each stage in turn without getting ahead of ourselves. Each time we reached the end of the Likenäs stage, even before I had seen the time, I was pleased because I felt that we had given everything and the times reflected that. It’s a test where you have to be fully focused. And I knew that Esapekka had been totally committed and pushed to the max.“
— Citroën Racing (@CitroenRacing) February 20, 2019