Esapekka Lappi’s Rally Estonia didn’t get off to the greatest of starts on Friday when he crossed the opening stage of the day over 18 seconds down on rally leader Elfyn Evans.
And to compound matters further, he only lost more time as the morning went on.
But it wasn’t a case of Lappi being slow. He was hampered by a brake issue right from the off which meant he couldn’t attack the stages in the same vein as he inherently would.
That not only sapped his confidence but prompted a change of driving style that was completely at odds with Lappi’s natural technique.
“The initial bite is gone completely, so you need to push the pedal really hard to make the car slow down,” Lappi explained to DirtFish at the end of the morning loop.
“And on this rally, and Finland, driving style should be that you go a bit too fast into the corners and then by left-foot braking you manage the corner.
“If it looks that you don’t survive you put a bit of left-foot, maybe a bit more angle and then you can do perfect corner.
“But at the moment, there’s no chance. I cannot use the left foot. So I need to completely change the driving style.”
On the second stage of the day Lappi lost a further 10s to Evans, but after getting some time to adjust to his new approach, he did find his damage limitation mode.
And on the final stage of the loop, he ended up only 4.4s off his team-mate’s effort, leaving him fifth overall and 43.6 off the rally lead.
It’s not the first time Lappi has experienced this issue though. He’s come across the problem before and believes he knows what the issue is, although it’s never manifested this quickly.
When asked if it was down to the type of pads being used or a “dodgy set”, Lappi explained it was “the second one”.
“I mean we had this similar thing earlier on some tests, but not probably after such short mileage,” he said.
“So something with the bedding or just bad pads. I don’t know.”