Evgeny Novikov (4th) said:
“The feeling has been very good this morning. We have one of the best gravel crews and Ilka [Minor, co-driver] is delivering perfect pacenotes. I am feeling really confident. Yesterday I was maybe a little too careful, but now that I am pushing a bit more the rhythm is much better.
“The conditions are very tricky, but they are also very enjoyable to drive. You have to be always sideways and very strong on the brakes. I think it is possible to go a bit faster, but then I will be driving on the limit and this is for sure not the best time to do this!”
Juho Hänninen (7th) said:
“The middle stage [SS6] was much easier – if there was any grip out there, then that was where it was! On the other two stages [SS5 and SS7] the grip was really changeable and I was not so confident – they were really different from SS6 where the grip was more consistent all the way though.
“For the moment I am just being patient – trying to learn and get used to everything. It is so easy to make a mistake in these conditions, especially if you are not fully confident. The best plan is just to take it stage by stage.”
Mads Østberg (9th) said:
“Today has been a lot better. I was thinking a lot last night and decided to take a different approach. I knew yesterday that I was the problem as I tried to change the car a bit but nothing really helped. I looked specifically at my driving style to try and understand why and where I was losing so much time. Now I know that I have to push more where there are clean lines. Where there is snow, but clean Tarmac lines, I need to look outside of these lines to find better grip.
“It seems to be working a lot better today. I changed my mentality having started the rally thinking that I just had to get through to the finish – it has been a long time sine I have approached an event like that and I just couldn’t get it to work. I think for me I need to push a little bit to make it work. It feels a lot better now that we are focussing on trying to catch [Bryan] Bouffier and Juho [Hänninen].”