Marcus Gronholm's return to the World Rally Championship for Rally Sweden was one of the most eagerly anticipated elements of the season opener. But things did not go according to plan for the 2000 and 2002 World Rally Champion, as he ran a frustrated sixth early on – struggling to settle in to his Stobart Ford – and then lost 13 minutes with an electrical problem this afternoon.
Afterward, he explained his tough day.
Q. What was the electrical problem you had on stage five?
Marcus Gronholm: I don't know exactly. It was difficult to know. It was over a fast crest and 'brrrrr...' the car stopped. It just stopped. Everything was quiet and everything was black. Nothing.
It was in a bad place on the road and I couldn't get out and start to work on the car straight away, we had to try and slow the cars down before we could have a look.
Q. How did you get it started again?
MG: I don't know. I reset everything and then again, then it started and we go again. Aye, aye, very frustrating.
Q. Before that problem, you were struggling a little bit?
MG: Yes, that's true. I didn't really have the feeling, you know. But then after the service park, the driving was coming a little bit better, it felt OK. Now I just want to drive better again.
Q. What is the plan for tomorrow?
MG: I don't know. To try and drive more like I can. It will be OK tomorrow, some more nice stages and we can have a look.
Q. Do you wish you'd never come back?
MG: Maybe, a little bit. I didn't have enough time in the car. Thinking about it, I was doing more cross-country skiing than I was driving and this is not the best preparation. I needed more time in the car to get ready.
Q. Do you think you could have made the podium?
MG: I think if we had made the good start and found the right rhythm, it could have been possible to do this if we had done some more testing. But it's not going to happen now.