In a World Rally Championship packed with good people, Dani Sordo really rates among the very best.
Anybody in any doubt of the Spaniard’s popularity should have been in Sardinia last year, when his Rally Italy victory brought a big, wide smile to the service park. Further evidence of what a fine human being he is came with his selfless response to questions about missing rallies like Portugal and Sardinia, where he’s both immensely popular and a winner.
Sordo said: “We are disappointed not to be in Portugal and in Italy, because they are some of my preferred rallies. We are sad for the missed rallies, but sadder for this situation.
“Everyone has been is in a difficult place recently. Not only the teams, but people around the world. We all hope we will come back to some form of a normal life soon. I think we need to take positive feelings of this moment in history.
“Honestly, the message I want to tell the fans is we are sorry for these circumstances at the moment, but it is the best for everybody to stay home. The most important thing now is to get through this, for everyone to be good, and we will restart the rallies like normal. To everyone at home, I say thanks for staying there for a long time, and I hope everything will be normal as soon as possible.”
As well as that key message, Sordo admitted he’s missing his mates and urged his fellow drivers (we’re thinking he’s probably keen to chat to co-drivers as well…) to zoom in.
He added: “I had an Instagram chat with Carlos [del Barrio, co-driver], even if we don’t usually speak much in between events. I have spoken to Andrea [Adamo, team principal] and Alain [Penasse, team manager], but I think it would also be nice for all the drivers to have a video chat together – that would be fun!
“Maybe after this we will use our time to have more conversations with our friends on the phone. There are so many possibilities now with technology to communicate or meet with people where you can see their face. So, sometimes we need to stop a little bit and to see things you didn’t see before because you are busy all the time now, but now we realise life a little more slowly is also nice.”
Life a little more slowly has also given Sordo time to clean the windows and set about some housework at home in Andorra.
“I have tried,” he said, “to do some fitness once a day and then do jobs around the house. For example, cleaning all the windows, cutting the grass, gardening and lots of indoor DIY. I’ve been kept busy with video interviews, and also doing some cooking via video link. It’s not the life I lead usually and while I miss going out, the weather has been nice.
“The situation here, thankfully, has not been as bad as in other areas, but it has been important to treat things seriously and to respect the regulations. I have been keeping safe, and also doing what I can to remain fit and busy. There is some light coming but we have to be patient for the time being.”
Has he done any online races?
“No,” he said, “I haven’t. But, to be honest, I’m not really a big fan of them. I prefer to do normal sport. As I said I’ve been enjoying cleaning and making food, and I’ve got my dogs who I can play with as well.
“I got myself a simulator. It’s not something I’ve really played with before. I don’t really play video games, but I think for your mind and maybe your speed it’s good. I’ve really only been playing with my friends up to now.”
There you have it, the word of Sordo… Sardinia winner, window cleaner and all-round good guy.