“Kalle Rovanperä is a miraculous kid! »

You seemed particularly happy!

We really believed that this victory had eluded us. At the start of the 3and stage, everything was fine and the rain came. Ott Tänak set a super time and took the lead. That’s when we thought we lost because we knew it would be wet in the Power Stage too. Seeing on the screen all the mud there was at the start of this ultimate ES, I took a sheet and started doing calculations with the points to assess what we were going to concede to Hyundai. As there were WRC2 drivers in the Top 5, that didn’t mean anything. There were too many “maybe”, “if”… So, after a few minutes, I threw away my paper. It was the right decision! When Kalle and Jonne’s first split time showed up, it was a shock.

Why ?

Ott Tänak was supposed to have the perfect tire choice to win this stage and Kalle had no chance in theory. How did he do it? Where had he gotten this speed, this confidence to spin like that? His pace was so fast, how did he manage his Hard tyres? For me, it’s Kalle’s best performance behind the wheel. He’s a miraculous kid!

He gives the impression of not feeling any pressure at all…

In my career, I rubbed shoulders with Sébastien Loeb and Sébastien Ogier. They were two very special guys and Kalle has something new because he doesn’t feel pressured and never appears nervous. Even in the most tense situations, he is perfectly relaxed.

How can you explain this mistake in tire choice? Hyundai had information you didn’t?

I don’t think they had more correct data, but I think above all that they were players. And it paid off. With M-Sport, we assumed that there were clouds, but it wouldn’t rain. So I’m happy that Kalle was the fastest and that he was the winner, because he deserved it.

Should we consider him a title contender?

Absolutely. He has shown that he has what it takes to fight for the championship this year.

Kalle was efficient and reliable, but he was well helped by the efficiency of your cars…

It is true that we have not experienced any alert on our four Yaris. The hybrid system also worked perfectly.

READ ALSO > Kalle Rovanperä, already legendary

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