POST-EVENT PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
FIA European Rally Championship 2018: Round 2 of 8, Rally Islas Canarias, 3-5 May
Podium Zone, Parc Santa Catalina, 19h00, Saturday 5 May
Congratulations on your third Rally Islas Canarias victory. How happy are you with this result and how good was your performance compared to the previous two years?
It was a perfect rally, more or less the same as last year. We were winning a lot of stages, showing a really good pace and confidence, managing tyres and waving to the fans. There were lots of fans on the stages and I saw you, everyone of you.
Leading from the first stage to the last suggested it was a trouble-free rally for you. Was that the case or did you have some problems to contend with?
Actually we had some worries and expectations that young drivers like Russians, Germans, French and Spanish would push really hard. But we managed to do a good job, the weather was okay for us, the starting position was really clever and it helped us to maintain a good speed. Thanks to Pirelli for the tyres and their proper choice. Everything was well with no big problems so quite good for us.
It’s been a great start to the season for you and Alexey after you also won in the Azores. What has been the difference compared to last year?
Comparing to last year the stages are also tricky, they’re completely different but this is a very wonderful island and you can make a rally stage everywhere. Despite they were different they were looking the same like last year, really fast and really tricky. Sometimes it was really hard to talk to Alexey and give him pacenotes in time, even though we had them very limited and very clear, sometimes it was hard for me as well. Tarmac is usually more demanding because you have bigger speeds and less time to speak.
The perfect start to your ERC Junior Under 28 Championship challenge. But was there a temptation to push Alexey for the overall victory?
I am really satisfied with this result for this race. I was expecting to be fighting for ERC Junior U28 so it was difficult to fight with Alexey as well so we decided to keep our position.
You said before the start of the rally that you are more confident on gravel than asphalt. What does this result say about how much you’ve improved on Tarmac?
We have a big programme testing in Italy so we drove two races, which is why we missed the Azores. We were very prepared for this race.
With all the changes to the stages for this year how difficult was this rally?
This year it was a little bit faster I think but it’s not a problem.
Your first podium in the ERC Fabian. How pleased are you with your achievement?
I’m happy for sure. These guys have incredible speed and I must say thank you to my co-driver, to ŠKODA Germany and Raimund Baumschlager and his team for this incredible car.
What happened before the final stage – you were late starting and it looked as though you would get a penalty?
We just had a police control before the time control. I was worried at that point. But for the first time here I am really satisfied with our speed, our pace. The main problem was to manage the tyres and we managed it quite good.
Lots of spectators on this rally, what did you think of the atmosphere?
Really a lot of spectators and fans on the stages and a very good atmosphere so we like it very well.