Saturday in Italy

We drove pretty well today! Probably, many fans know that the start of the rally was not good for us – we were the 14th at the qualify and also somewhere far in the field at the first special stage in Rome, so it was decided to go back to last year’s settings. To do this the team had to bring my last year’s shock absorbers from France overnight. They made it in just 10 minutes before the start – they had their own rally and, probably, a separate adventure story. But in the end, the dampers were installed in the car and it became much better than it was. During the tests it seemed that we had found the optimal settings, but the result was a whole picture that we were winning in one thing, losing in another, and we couldn’t find a compromise – there was a failure somewhere. Perhaps the evolution of shock absorbers went somewhere wrong. They are not ideal now, there’s still a little lack of grip, we are thinking with an engineer how to improve it, we will try it tomorrow.
The important thing is that we have passed all the special stages quite steadily, although not very fast. It is even curious that the tendencies on the first and second pass were very similar: at the first special stage uphill we lost at all those hairpins; at the second special stage that was so long and competitive we were going third, at about the same pace to the leaders; the third SS was also going well. At the end of the day we are lagging behind the Italians and guys behind us are pressing a little bit. It seems that we can hold back those who are behind us, and it seems that we can no longer catch up with those who are ahead, so the situation has stabilized. Tomorrow we’ll have another 2/3 of the distance – about 120 competitive kilometers, everything is ahead, I think that many crews will also be able to make changes to the settings taking into account today’s experience and tomorrow we’ll fight again.