After slipping to fifth on Saturday morning on the mountain stages, Lappi broke the mold again and selected four snow and two wet tires in his package, with his rivals choosing the opposite for the second pass. It snowed, and Lappi should’ve benefited.
But he didn’t. SS10 and 12 were both canceled, which was out of the team’s control, but the blunder that led to him running with wet tires on SS11, despite it snowing heavily, was poor at best and probably cost Lappi a podium.
“How could it have gone so wrong?” asked DirtFish’s Colin Clark afterwards. “Not enough information,” was Lappi’s response. “We just had the information that it’s wet, what else I can say?”
M-Sport has struggled for performance with its Ford Fiesta WRC as the year has progressed as it’s been unable to justify the expense of intense development like Hyundai and Toyota, but operationally it fell short of the mark at Monza too. To compound it all, Teemu Suninen only got to do one stage with a healthy engine.
Mikkelsen is still a rich talent
Ever since he was axed from Hyundai’s WRC line-up at the end of last year, Andreas Mikkelsen hasn’t been shy to tell the world that he didn’t think the i20 Coupe WRC suited his driving style, especially on asphalt.
He pointed to the fact that even the great Sébastien Loeb – who used to eat his rivals for breakfast on the black stuff in his domineering Citroën days – struggled to get the best from the car.