Issues have been hitting Sébastien Ogier thick and fast on Croatia Rally.
After a difficult Friday in which he picked up two punctures and then subsequently hit with a one-minute penalty for a seatbelt infringement, Ogier would have been hoping his Saturday would get off to a smoother start.
But no sooner had that thought crossed his mind, problems arose once again.
Heading down to Saturday’s opening stage, Ogier discovered a problem on his GR Yaris Rally1. He has remained tight-lipped on what the exact issue was but it did force him to stop on the road section before the test and enter ‘full mechanic’ mode.
“I will not disclose that one, but yeah, there was a little mistake done and yeah we did our best to fix it on the road section,” Ogier said when asked what the problem was.
“Luckily we managed it but it took a bit of time and I arrived only 10 seconds I think too late, to take a penalty.
“So yeah it was hard to the rest, I mean at the end it’s the smallest problem we’ve had so far, but still one more.
“So hopefully we are done now with all the issues and can keep the same pace and see where it brings us.”
Although Ogier picked up a 10-second penalty for arriving to the stage late, it would appear that he’s definitely not lost any mechanical skills as he went on to end the first three stages of the loop second fastest before going quickest in the final test of the morning.
And he later stated that once the repair was complete, there were no real issues with the car.
“Yeah, the car is fine,” he said.
“Like I said, the repair we’ve done it was maybe not 100% this morning but it must have been close to it.
“It must’ve been a little geometry issue maybe but not that big. So at least I had no understeering, the car was a bit oversteering this morning.
“But I don’t need to make big changes, it depends on the forecast if it stays like this we’re going to have similar conditions to the morning and basically it will only be a small adjustment.”
However, while his mechanical skills certainly seem impressive, given he was so quick on Saturday’s morning loop, he still thinks he’s better at changing tires.
“I was [in full mechanic mode],” he explained.
“I’m not so good at it anymore. I used to be maybe.
“I started to be good at changing wheels to be honest. I’ve had good practice, a lot of practice.
“But yeah that was a bit bigger work and yeah when you’re on the road section with not all the tools you want, not the perfect position you want to be, it’s sometimes a bit challenging.”