Hyundai’s Lappi and Sordo explain their struggles

Both Esapakka Lappi and Dani Sordo found their i20 N Rally1 too soft on Friday


Hyundai drivers Esapekka Lappi and Dani Sordo both believe their i20 N Rally1s were too soft for Friday’s Monte Carlo Rally stages, owing to some of their pace deficit.

Sordo is sixth overall after eight of the Monte’s 18 stages while Lappi is eighth, 24.6 seconds behind Takamoto Katsuta who’s breathing down Sordo’s neck just 2.9s behind.

But Sordo’s deficit to overnight rally leader Sébastien Ogier is an unhealthy 1m30.2s.

Throughout Friday, Sordo consistently remarked that the feeling in the car was fine but the times didn’t match – and naturally he repeated that rhetoric come the end of day media zone.

“The feeling was good but the times weren’t good,” he told DirtFish.


“I don’t know [why]. The car was soft and I dont like it when the car is soft, I don’t have the precision in the car, this reactivity like a kart.

“And it’s moving all the time and soft tires, I don’t get the feeling

“I will change the dampers and try something for tomorrow,” he vowed. “I need to change something because if not it’s not working.”

While neither Sordo nor Lappi contested last year’s Monte Carlo Rally, Lappi was last here in 2020 (Sordo in 2021) and unlike his team-mate is learning a new car this weekend.

Lappi feels he should have got on top of his new ride quicker than he has, but the Hyundai team isn’t putting him under pressure which he says is “nice to hear”.


But he links some of the issues he’s experiencing on the rally to his pre-event test.

He told DirtFish: “I spent one day last week in the car on a 5km stage there and back – OK it should be possible to do a good car, but I made a mistake, it was too soft.

“Maybe the diffs were not correct. But for that road it felt really good and I tried over there as well a stiffer car, but it didn’t work on that road. And now it’s definitely too soft on suspension wise. But now we are stiffer, we need stiffer diffs in my opinion.”

Asked if he could relax given it’s first time in the car, Lappi replied: “Yeah, in some ways yes, but on the other hand I really was thinking I could figure it out today what’s the case and that I can be more competitive.

“It sort of feels that I am not a professional kind of, you know? But yeah, I mean, the team has said just take your time to find the pace and that’s the nice thing to hear.

“At some point it needs to come. I understand the situation so we need to just find it and I’m sure we will do it.”

Hyundai’s leading runner, Thierry Neuville, didn’t struggle as badly as his stablemates but Toyota’s GR Yaris Rally1 has gone unbeaten so far this rally and third-placed Neuville isn’t quite sure why.

“We are not able to match the Toyotas at the moment, I don’t know why yet, but we have at least tried,” Neuville told DirtFish.

“We have to analyze the day and see what we can do. This morning we had a different tire strategy and I hope it will pay [off later in the weekend].

“This afternoon we were on equal tires and still we were not able to match the times. Even if we are closer, we are a bit too far off.”

Neuville heads into Saturday 1.9s behind Kalle Rovanperä but 37.9s adrift of Ogier.