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Transcript of the pre-match press conference organised by the FIA for the 2021 Ypres Rally Belgium.

WRC Rally Croatia - Thierry Neuville giving interviews

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP

Recent:

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT – Sébastien Ogier (FRA)

Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT – Thierry Neuville (BEL)

M-Sport Ford WRT – Adrien Fourmaux (FRA)

Q.

Thierry, the WRC has arrived at your condo nation in Belgium to the illustrious Ypres Rally. At the beginning build, now that you’re here and recce is performed, how are you feeling relating to the truth that Belgium has a spherical of the championship?

TN:

I constantly came to Ypres as I admire the match. I constantly abilities coming here. There are particular roads. There are different straights, different junctions, moderately slippery tarmac in different places. To come motivate here in a WRC, in my popular car, it the truth is feels dazzling most incessantly. I had the event in the previous to power in Germany – mainly my residence match – as is most incessantly nearer to my residence than Ypres. Now being in Belgium, with the enhance of the fans, utilizing on the roads I admire, it’s the truth is going to be a spotlight.

Q:

You’ve done here six times previously and won the match in an R5. We are the use of some identical parts and identical stages but in completely different instructions? What is the route like for the WRC, does it measure up?

TN:

I am quite of bit shocked if truth be told, the bits they’ve chosen. There is different mild tarmac when in contrast with the rally match two years in the past. The roads were a grand rougher and grand more bumpy with more cutting than there if truth be told is that this year. I even salvage performed different the bits in some skill, in some direction. Within the discontinue, we most spirited had 45 percent of scuttle-notes for this year’s itinerary. I teach I do know completely where I am always.

Q:

Pronounce me relating to the attempting out ahead of this match. That probabilities are you’ll just salvage performed two assessments here. Why salvage you performed two assessments – is it at a severe space in the season or did that you can presumably just salvage two assessments in the secure? Or one other motive?

 

TN:

In most cases, Ott had two days in Portugal and I could just aloof salvage performed two days in Sardinia but at that time, I didn’t see the must check two times there. I needed to sustain finally accessible for one other rally. Coming here to Ypres, I had different rain on my first day. The goal used to be to check quite of bit nearer to the rally over again as a result of we would salvage a more in-depth idea of what the climate could be like. So I frail that additional day to check a week sooner than the match.

Q:

I do know you must secure a hang at residence, any driver would. So how severe is it to secure a hang here Championship reasonable now for you?

TN:

Championship-reasonable for the Driver’s Title, it’ll be a complex anguish but you in no plan know what’s going to happen. We now salvage considered so many things taking place true during the previous seasons and the total lot is aloof open. It would be a complex anguish, I will want some motivate from the others as successfully but I’m capable of most spirited hear to myself and accomplish my simplest and predicament where I discontinue up.

Q:

Seb, championship chief heading into what’s going to be a brand-mild adventure for you. It is comely what number of drivers have not competed here. Pronounce us what that you can presumably just salvage knowing to be the stages out of your recce abilities?

SO:

Like you speak, there are different things to check. I teach there used to be no real shock from the recce as a result of obviously, like everybody, now we salvage watched the videos sooner than coming here to salvage a idea what’s coming. It has very yell roads. If truth be told slim more in total than no longer and different grip exchange, different cuts even Thierry acknowledged there aren’t as many in the previous but there is aloof a dazzling amount, I teach. It has some sizable challenges moreover for the tyres, I’d speak. We now salvage for the time being more or less fashioned tyres on tarmac and the puncture possibility is sublime excessive, I teach, this weekend. I hope that this will no longer if truth be told teach what occurs with the implications. However now we should sustain in tips that this will seemingly be an anguish for clear. However yeah, it’s perhaps no longer the nicest profile you must salvage for a tarmac rally nonetheless it is far aloof a anguish for clear. It is aloof a if truth be told complex rally where on the discontinue, the World Championship is candy as it is far various. Every rally is totally different and this one is extraordinarily untypical for tarmac. I teach it is far candy to salvage it in the Championship now. As a minimum, I teach one sure is that there shouldn’t be so grand toll road evolution here. I teach that every man that is beginning on the pinnacle whatever, 5 – ten salvage a likelihood to fight without focused on toll road space. It is constantly fine for the rally and for the rivals. So let’s see what we can attain. It is tricky to declare, we had a no longer a if truth be told dazzling check. The roads were no longer very fine, if truth be told, no longer very representative. So now we should undercover agent quite the next day morning with Shakedown, how the car is, to substantiate that we if truth be told feel dazzling here. You talked about the Championship, for sure we’re dazzling where we’re now but with 5 races there are a total lot functions to salvage. I do know completely, as successfully, that there is no time to sit down down back out yet and I even salvage aloof give my simplest. At the identical time, there is no absolute want for wins so I strive to sustain the sharp plan I even salvage had in my occupation, is a key note.

Q.

I don’t teach I even salvage ever considered you sit down back out even once that you can presumably just salvage won the Championship to be honest. You aloof fade for it. You level out that it is a specialised match in the Championship. That probabilities are you’ll just salvage seven titles; you don’t want advice from any individual. However once you come here for the first time, attain you receive out about for any individual completely different. I scrutinize your route expose crew comprises Simon-Jean Joseph, who has been here seven times and been on the rostrum. Has he guided you the least bit?

SO:

Obviously, he helped me quite nonetheless it is far already a in point of fact very prolonged time in the past that he competed in the match. So if truth be told, we asked a native man to motivate us quite with Stéphane Lefebvre who has dazzling files of the roads. It used to be impressive to undercover agent that: he described many, many little areas with little pointers of where to brake. I will sustain my fresh notes and no longer use his perhaps, nonetheless it is far candy to half quite of little bit of that as the grip exchange is no longer if truth be told easy to undercover agent all over the build! It would motivate quite of bit even supposing this will seemingly be fascinating to follow the scuttle of Thierry or Craig as they’ve the abilities. However I constantly beginning up the rally with the target to salvage so let’s see what we can attain.

Q:

Adrien, your first time competing here in Ypres and it is far motivate into World car here. It isn’t very your condo match perse, but you don’t dwell too far-off from here. How attain you are feeling coming into this match?

AF:

I am if truth be told happy. It is decrease than now for sure, it is far correct 40kms from my residence. This could very successfully be if truth be told spirited and I will salvage my household and chums here so I hope this will seemingly be a if truth be told fine match for me. To come motivate with the WRC car, I am if truth be told happy. This could very successfully be my 2d match on tarmac with the car. This could very successfully be a sizable anguish, namely on these if truth be told complex roads but I am clear we can abilities.

Q:

Croatia used to be impressive alongside with your result and also you nearly getting quickest times sooner than Ogier made clear it didn’t happen. What are your targets here?

AF:

The targets will seemingly be to secure three or four high three in the stages and fight for the pinnacle 5. I do know this will seemingly be a sizable anguish. This could very successfully be my goal for this one.

Q

Consult with me relating to the times here. Are there any days or stages that stands out for you for being basically the most fascinating?

AF:

Honestly, the stages in Ypres are moderately identical. It is in Spa that this will seemingly be completely different. It is bumpier and moreover the tune will seemingly be quite like Monza. This could very successfully be quite fascinating to interchange the gap-up for the Sunday. For this style of roads, we will be cutting and we’d like to be sharp for where the mud goes after the first man on the toll road and correct strive to search out a dazzling working level. For clear this will seemingly be speedy so this will seemingly be complex to search out it.

Q

Can you expose me about subsequent year and what can you expose me about 2022, where you will be and what you will be utilizing?

AF:

If truth be told, we’re aloof working on it. Potentially basically the most spirited thing to achieve is to question M-Sport about it.

Q

When will there be a decision or when would you love there to be a decision?

AF:

For clear I’d like a beefy season! If that is that that you can presumably teach.

Q

You would prefer a beefy season and a decision as soon as that that you can presumably teach for sure!

AF:

Yeah, I’d like a beefy season for clear. To achieve all the Championship in a Rally1. However if truth be told, I don’t know. However even for this season I don’t know what my car will seemingly be for the subsequent rally. I moreover must know what’s going to be the subsequent rally and the relaxation of the season.

 

Q

On that expose Sebastien, attain you know what number of rallies you will attain subsequent year?

SO:

I teach I talked about that it is far extraordinarily dependant on what’s going to happen for me with the WEC. That I don’t know and that will take time sooner than I do know. I am sorry that I’m capable of solution this quiz for a whereas.

Q

I will stop asking once you gain the decision!

SO:

I will salvage a seek advice from the WEC car in November. I teach after that I’m capable of speak quite more.

Questions from the ground:

Thomas Michiels, RTC Télé-Liège

What are the sizable variations from Saturday to Sunday?

TN:

To be honest, it is far pretty a determined more or less profile. Aloof the stages they rating are moderately bumpy and one of the basic sections are greasy and muddy. However if truth be told, there used to be different rain on this residence. For the comfort, it is far most incessantly a circuit racing form of stage, the use of the tune and the paddock and quite of rallycross as successfully. So it is far kind of of compromise and combination. A little little bit of the total lot. To be honest, they could presumably just salvage chosen nicer roads.

Eric Dupain, BELGA Press Company

Who’s the native diver that helped you? You talked about Stéphane Lefebvre?

SO:

Yes precisely.


FIA WRC2 CHAMPIONSHIP

Recent:

Hyundai Motorsport N – Oliver Solberg (SWE)

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team – Tom Kristensson (SWE)

Q:

Oliver, you are in mild Hyundai Rally2 car, that makes its debut here. Pronounce us quite relating to the project to getting to the rally and the plan angry are you to rally it here?

OS:

With out a doubt, I am very angry. It is a brand mild era and a brand mild beginning build for the Rally2 project. It is extraordinarily thrilling, now we salvage performed different attempting out and it appears to be like to be moderately sure. We will give you the option to see when the rally begins. Personally, I even have not performed different attempting out on tarmac with the car. I most spirited had one pre-match check day on tarmac, and it used to be my first time with it on this surface. I even salvage performed all my attempting out on gravel and snow, so on that level it used to be very sure. We will give you the option to see on tarmac this weekend but for clear I am very angry.

Q:

Sweden is successfully represented in the press conference! For every of you, it is your first time here in Ypres. What an improbable match it is far and over the years it has developed this kind of following. What did you teach once you obtained out to undercover agent the stages does it dwell as a lot as the expectations to this point?

OS:

I teach it is far mild for nearly everybody. For clear it is far an improbable space first of all here in the metropolis. There is so grand ardour and atmosphere. On the stages, for sure, once you take away it isn’t very wet this time but aloof that you can presumably just salvage the expectations with the safe cuts so this will seemingly be complex tarmac. So it is a sizable anguish and if truth be told, very stress-free.

Q:

When you were out on recce and having a receive out about on the cuts, how muddy were the stage itself, used to be there different dust accessible?

OS:

Aloof the toll road is extraordinarily dry, the cuts are aloof very wet, soft and muddy. For clear this will budge different mud out on the toll road and this will seemingly be a sizable anguish. This could just the truth is no longer be easy and we can abilities something on the shakedown the next day morning very early.

Q:

It is moderately a dazzling Shakedown stage the next day. It frail to be a stage here. That probabilities are you’ll just salvage nine kilometres to secure frail to the car.

OS:

It is a prolonged stage, you must in truth secure up for clear for Friday afternoon. It is extraordinarily representative of the stages and it has the total lot to salvage for the rally. With out a doubt, this will salvage the total lot for the upright stages.

Q:

What is the hope to your self by the use of a result?

OS:

To start with, the target for Hyundai, for me and Jari Huttunen is to place, to secure the car to the place, to search out out about dazzling and to salvage the car having a receive out about dazzling. For clear, that is the major precedence and if the implications come with it, that is better for me.

Q:

Apparently different drivers are getting steerage from Belgian consultants. Are you getting any?

OS:

That is secret!

Q:

Nothing is a secret!

OS:

I if truth be told talked to Freddy Loix quite closing night and for clear, he gave me some advice. It is dazzling put collectively, to secure some advice. It is a dazzling paddock, everybody is open, everybody is household.

Q:

Tom, It is your first season here so how attain you assess your performance in WRC2?

TK:

With out a doubt, as you speak, it used to be a if truth be told particular beginning as a lot as the season and it used to be very particular for me correct so that you can attain it. I am very happy to be here and I even salvage labored very hard for that. For clear, we’re bettering time after time and we’re attempting to search out the scuttle and receive the self perception in the car. It is extraordinarily complex – more complex than I expected to search out the ideal scuttle to be ready take care of the setups of the car and to take a receive out about at to search out the scuttle on the stages and the total lot. To be honest, I didn’t put a question to to salvage this prolonged skill to head but I will sustain pushing and sustain working. I am if truth be told having a receive out about forward to this adventure. For clear I am more assured on the gravel, on the stones but I if truth be told hang to achieve this more or more straightforward things. For us Scandinavians, it is far extraordinarily speedy stages with very complex cuts and complex, muddy places. For clear this will seemingly be a sizable adventure and I am if truth be told having a receive out about forward to it.

 

Q:

What salvage you been doing to secure your self willing for this match, with the exception of looking out on the videos, what salvage you been doing to secure your self Ypres willing?

TK:

In most cases, I am utilizing a lot on the simulator at residence. So, I am placing different time there. Otherwise, you must center of attention lot on utilizing. I am moreover specializing in different completely different things, like respiratory in a completely different skill to put more air into your body and focussing on the identical time. I am spending different time in nature, correct looking out at some water to undercover agent how it strikes, to undercover agent how it works. So as that is moreover making me assured in my body. That probabilities are you’ll be taught a lot from that. So which will be just a few of my suggestions to achieve it.

Q:

That you just will be like a existence coach Tom. I adore this. What is going to be the system, expectation and hope? It will seemingly be the first time here. As you acknowledged, you don’t if truth be told feel moderately as assured on tarmac as gravel so what’s the hope this weekend?

TK:

As you speak, that is a sizable adventure and a sizable opportunity to be taught very grand. So for clear we can be taught very grand this weekend. I’m capable of’t put a question to something else. I strive to show the stages and the outside for my engineer but I needed to expose him on video. That probabilities are you’ll’t even put it to words how it is far. That is one of the basic major stuff you must achieve. That probabilities are you’ll just aloof be there and fade for it. I teach I must attain it grade by grade. Let’s see, you don’t know how the cuts will seemingly be till after the WRC autos had been through. So you will come there and in that 2d you must take a decision and accomplish the honest thing and fade for it


FIA WRC3 CHAMPIONSHIP

Recent:

Yohan Rossel (FRA)

Ghislain de Mevius (BEL)

Q:

Yohan, we haven’t considered you for two events, yet you continue to lead the championship! First time here in Ypres and also you are up against moderately just a few robust Belgian drivers within FIA WRC3 – how are you feeling relating to the weekend ahead?

YR:

Yes, I teach it is a troublesome weekend for me. I adore tarmac nonetheless it isn’t very the identical tarmac that I do know. I teach its very fascinating, but the native drivers are very speedy. The assessments are dazzling. I teach the nook is so complex since the grip changes always. We will give you the option to see.

Q:

It would be an improbable fight this weekend. There are such a broad amount of native drivers in WRC3. What are you hoping to trot away with by the use of a result? Produce you teach that a podium is that that you can presumably teach against these guys with their native files?

YR:

I hope sure. It is the identical as for other weekends, in Croatia, in Sardinia, in Portugal, the native drivers will be found in in WRC3 and it is far so complex for the fellows. You bought the Championship but sure, it isn’t very the identical bustle but if truth be told, I even must beat the fellows the identical: De Mevius, Princen… We will give you the option to see the next day.

Q:

What relating to the stages. When that you can presumably just had been out on recce, has something else stuck on your tips as being – woah, that could very successfully be a if truth be told complex stage?

 

YR:

Yes. I receive out about at different videos correct sooner than the match and whereas you are in stages, it is far so completely different. The grip is no longer the identical. It changes always. The short toll road is correct improbable. The corners are so speedy but whereas you are at 200km/h it isn’t very the identical. I teach it is far so complex for the first time here but I am willing for the anguish.

Q:

Ghislain, a WRC match on your condo nation of Belgium – at the beginning how does that if truth be told feel?

GM:

Obviously, it is far extraordinarily fine to salvage a WRC match for the first time in Belgium. It used to be nearly the case closing year but then it used to be cancelled. However it the truth is is extraordinarily fine to salvage all basically the most spirited drivers on this planet in Belgium for the first time.

Q:

You’ve competed here four times previously. How grand of this year’s route is acquainted, and the plan grand will outdated abilities of this if truth be told ideal match be basic this weekend?

GM:

It is the truth is a if truth be told complex match, I did it four times but aloof it is far kind of of bit mild once you come motivate and gain the recce and predicament all the roads. It is extraordinarily slippery, there is different exchange in the grip and a sizable possibility of puncture with sizable cuts, it is far speedy. It is extraordinarily yell. It isn’t very easy even for us as Belgians, each person is aware of quite more for sure but aloof it is far complex.

Q:

That native files, will that give you the advantage over any individual like Yohan who has no longer been here sooner than but has safe abilities? Is that going to be the additional edge you need this weekend to perhaps secure on the pinnacle step of the rostrum?

GM:

It could most likely motivate quite. We all know the form of toll road and there are moreover other Belgian rallies which will be like this one in affirm that could motivate, and the opposite Belgian drivers salvage performed Ypres many more times than me. As you speak, Kris Princen is continually speedy. These kinds of drivers know completely the rally.

Q:

It appears to be like to be like for the time being that we’re going to salvage a dry rally. Is that a relief?

GM:

Effectively. It isn’t very a relief for me as I admire it when it is far complex. However when it is far raining here, it is far extraordinarily, very complex. If it used to be raining, I teach different americans who must no longer Belgian would salvage gone off snappy as it slippery, nearly like ice on occasion. This could very successfully be dry so that that you can presumably push quite of bit more and it isn’t very the identical.

Questions from the ground:

Eric Dupain, BELGA Press Company

Will you fade flat out to take a receive out about at and beat the WRC2 and WRC3 drivers or will that you can presumably just salvage a receive out about on the standings and use your head counting on what occurs with the Belgian Rally Championship?

GM:

Honestly I don’t know. I must take a receive out about at to fight with each Rally2 car. Obviously for me, the Belgian Rally Championship is more basic but as that is the first time for this match in Belgium, I must attain my simplest and in all likelihood beat as many Rally2 autos as that that you can presumably teach.

 

FIA JUNIOR WRC CHAMPIONSHIP

Recent:

Sami Pajari (FIN)

William Creighton (IRL)

Q:

Will, we can beginning up with you. We all know Sami is currently the golden boy but perhaps you will even be the golden boy here in Ypres as that you can presumably just salvage abilities here, thrice previously?

WC:

We’ve been here once or twice sooner than with the British Championships. It is candy to come to a rally that that you can presumably just salvage performed sooner than. It presents me quite of self perception but like I acknowledged, the match, the class of drivers in the Junior Championship this year are elegant particular. It is the truth is no longer going to be easy but the truth is nicer coming to a rally where you know what to stay up for. You bear in mind the truth that you can presumably attain quite of more preparation sooner than the match, having a receive out about at onboards and things like that. The recce went successfully and I am correct having a receive out about forward to beginning.

 

Q:

What defines the Ypres Rally? In terms of the tarmac now we salvage here, does it evaluate to something else that you can presumably just salvage abilities in Northern Ireland or Ireland?

WC:

Yeah, no longer if truth be told. Obviously, coming from motivate residence, tarmac is perhaps my most in style surface. Right here the tarmac isn’t abrasive, it is far extraordinarily soft. There are different cuts where the mud gets dragged out onto the toll road, it makes it even slipperier. Yeah, true through one stage that you can presumably salvage a total lot completely different changes of grip so it is far set reading that and placing it into your notes as simplest as that that you can presumably teach. I even had been here once or twice and aloof have not managed to grasp it. More than seemingly this incessantly is the year. It isn’t very going to be easy nonetheless it is far an improbable rally. The metropolis is having a receive out about dazzling with so many folks around. It is correct fine to be here.

Q:

What is it like with the route? I am clear it has changed quite of from once that you can presumably just salvage performed it. They’ve changed things around quite of. Is it aloof as dazzling as it used to be sooner than and upward thrust to the expectation?

WC:

Yeah the truth is. It would be a sizable anguish for each person. The route is dazzling and it is far pretty compact which is candy. It makes the recce quite of more straightforward for each person. Yeah, it’ll be dazzling!

Q:

I could see from the Junior social media this weekend that that you can presumably just salvage had quite of a flavour for making chocolate. It is a if truth be told Belgian thing to achieve. Were you as a hit chocolatier?

WC:

Yes, Sami and I were making some chocolate autos. Now not sizable for the weight loss program nonetheless it used to be dazzling stress-free. It used to be fine of Calinor Chocolatier to let us in and give us a tour of their factory. I hope I’m capable of say some motivate residence.

Q:

Potentially a podium that you’re aiming for here?

WC:

Yeah, its whatever we can attain if truth be told. That may per chance be improbable if we could secure a podium but I teach it is far correct going to be a topic of getting to the place. When you happen to could handle that you is no longer going to be to this point-off. I even salvage acknowledged that every rally this year and everybody has gone as speedy as they’ll and everybody appears to be like to be to salvage gotten to the place line. It is tricky to know how one can play it but a podium could be improbable.

Q:

It is your first season in Juniors, what salvage you knowing to be the abilities to this point now that we’re on the penultimate match?

WC:

Yeah it has gone if truth be told speedy. I even salvage tried to abilities each match. Now we’re here and there is better one match after this one. It is so professional to be competing at this level and it has been improbable to be competing on this championship. I wish to be here over again subsequent year if that is that that you can presumably teach, so we can correct must attend and predicament.

Q:

Sami, championship chief heading here to Ypres after a mettlesome hang in Estonia. Now we switch to a in point of fact completely different surface. What salvage you knowing to be the Ypres abilities? What attain you teach of the stages?

SP:

To start with, I teach this will seemingly be a if truth be told fascinating match. I teach, ok the Covid times had been complex but I teach it has made these World Rally Championship calendar events more spirited. We now salvage considered some if truth be told spirited and particular events that we don’t on the total see. So no longer no longer as a lot as I teach it is far thrilling to salvage mild events. For me it is far the first time here but I teach this will seemingly be a dazzling anguish.

Q:

The closing time the Juniors were on tarmac used to be motivate in Croatia which you had a pretty a host, basically the most stage wins there. So you are overjoyed on this surface?

SP:

Yeah, Croatia used to be a fine abilities. It used to be if truth be told my first upright tarmac match. It used to be if truth be told fine to undercover agent the scuttle there moreover. I teach here is pretty equivalent to Croatia. It is complex to declare. The following day we can salvage more pointers on scuttle. I will attain my simplest and I will are attempting gain a clear bustle through and no longer ruin it on the beginning build. It is a prolonged rally.

Q:

Are you feeling tension on your shoulders? It is the penultimate rally. That you just will be main the Championship. Is there any tension on you the least bit now or are you too cool for that?

SP:

Presumably I’d if truth be told feel some tension, but I teach the fight is aloof so shut that it isn’t very over by far yet. Its perhaps even helping me as it is far more straightforward for me as I am in entrance fin the Championship but there are aloof so many exchange – two rallies so a lot can happen nonetheless it appears to be like to be dazzling.

Q:

Like you ever obtained any Belgian simplest chums Sami? Has any individual been advising you on how one can power these stages?

SP:

Sadly no longer. Obviously I even had been looking out at some on boards and this fresh preparation you will attain sooner than mild rallies, so for this rally it isn’t very changing too grand from the opposite rally preparation itself. As a minimum I teach this will motivate me as now, perhaps I don’t must hang so I am correct buying for a podium and solid functions.

 

Q:

You speak that now, I don’t must hang and then you the truth is build the helmet on the next day morning and things will exchange.

SP:

Yeah, we can see. I will strive to listen to to doing my salvage scuttle and I will see where we’re after that. I will must teach that, could just aloof we take some more dangers or no longer. We will give you the option to see.

Q:

How archaic are you over again, job my memory?

SP:

19.

Q:

Very archaic plan for a 19-year-archaic. We don’t salvage any questions from the ground. Thanks very grand.


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