The Ford boys had good reason to be cheerful last night at the close of play on Day 1. At one point Robert Kubica was leading the rally, but as the other teams sorted out their tyre choices, he finished the day in third place in his RK M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
At the overnight halt last night Kubica commented: "I'm pretty pleased with our performance today. At the beginning of the year I set myself a target to win at least one stage throughout the season, and I have already achieved that in the first two! We still have a lot to learn and there is a long way to go in this event, but I think we have had a good day.”
"Of course when you are leading after two stages and then get caught-out by a lot of snow in the next, it's always painful, but I also have to be realistic. If someone had told me before the event that I would be in this position, I would have taken it straight away. It could have been better, but honestly I think we have to be very satisfied with the job we have done today.”
"I nearly opted for spare snow tyres this morning, but when we didn't expect snow – like a lot of other drivers – I thought that there was no reason [to do so]. Unfortunately for us, it turns out that there was a reason!”
Opting for a cross configuration of Michelin's supersoft Pilot Sport and non-studded Pilot Alpin tyres for their Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt finished the first day in sixth place with Evans saying:"I think it's fair to say that I didn't expect to be sitting in sixth place at the end of Day 1, or to have been just 0.5 seconds off a fastest stage time. If someone had told me that before the event, I would have certainly taken it!”
"The tyre choice that we made with the team this morning was essential to where we are now. We had a steady run this afternoon – just to gain as much experience as possible – and we've found ourselves in a reasonably strong position over night. Now, we just need to be sensible and keep it together for the remainder of the event."
As for Mikko Hirvonen in 8th place: "We felt a bit more comfortable this afternoon, but we didn't do so much testing in these sorts of conditions so it is really difficult to find the confidence. But it's getting better and that is a very good thing.”
"Obviously there is still a long way to go, but let's see what we can do. I hope that we can continue to show the pace that we had in the last stage and try to catch the boys in front. The gaps are pretty big now, but this is Monte-Carlo and we've already seen what can happen!"