Andreas Mikkelsen admits 2018 WRC season has been 'nightmare'

Andreas Mikkelsen admits that he has had a "nightmare" start to his first full World Rally Championship season with Hyundai, but believes he can put it behind him in Italy

Andreas Mikkelsen admits 2018 WRC season has been 'nightmare'

Mikkelsen has struggled to find confidence and grip from his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC so far this year, but he said last month's Rally of Portugal marked a turning point as he found a transmission set-up in testing that worked for him.

Power steering and engine problems then hampered his rally before he could demonstrate his pace, and he arrives in Sardinia for the next WRC round this week with third in Sweden his only 2018 podium so far and 65 points adrift of his series leading team-mate Thierry Neuville.

"It's been a bit of a nightmare," Mikkelsen told Autosport.

"Finally when I feel I can drive the car then I had the problems [in Portugal], it's a bit frustrating.

"Of course I was pissed off with Portugal and I would like to have had a result, but I'm also a bit relieved because now I have a car that I like."

Mikkelsen is confident the set-up changes made for Portugal will work just as well in Italy.

"We worked a lot and made some changes with the set-up in the differentials," he said.

"Before, I struggled to get the front turned in under braking and when I was going to the throttle then I would lose the rear.

"Now I can get the front turned and the rear is more stable; we went softer with the rear and more open on the front [differential].

"I still think there is small room for improvement, but we're going in the right direction.

"Me and Anders [Jaeger, co-driver], we have been frustrated. We think that people think we have lost it, but we just didn't really have the feeling with the car and, at this level, you need to be at one with the car.

"I have been fighting in every corner so far this year, but this will work in Sardinia."

Rally Italy has not previously been the strongest event for Mikkelsen.

He has been off the road six times in eight starts and only finished in the top 10 once, when he posted fourth for Volkswagen in 2014.

shares
comments
Citroen plans talks with Ogier about return to WRC squad for 2019
Previous article

Citroen plans talks with Ogier about return to WRC squad for 2019

Next article

Citroen will miss Kris Meeke's C3 WRC experience, says Craig Breen

Citroen will miss Kris Meeke's C3 WRC experience, says Craig Breen
Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally Plus

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport

WRC
Jun 29, 2022
How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally Plus

How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
Jun 27, 2022
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Plus

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022
How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead Plus

How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead

Although the Rally Portugal entry list featured World Rally Championship royalty in Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier, victory was secured by rallying's rising star in Kalle Rovanpera. Here's the story of his 2022 hat-trick, as his key rivals faltered among the gravel and asphalt ahead of them

WRC
May 23, 2022
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Plus

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Plus

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Plus

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Plus

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Autosport donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the trials and tribulations of a rally mechanic

WRC
Apr 17, 2022