Title favorite implies foul play in Dakar Rally: “He should not whine”


With a lead of more than 48 minutes on number two, Toyota driver Nasser Al-Attiyah enters the second Dakar week with a big advantage. While he had a virtually trouble-free first week, his competitors dropped one by one.

Also the drivers of Audi, the works team that returned to the Dakar Rally this year with great fanfare with a hybrid rally car. However, all three Audi drivers went into the rest day with a hopeless deficit. Mattias Ekstrom (+2 hours and 41 minutes), Carlos Sainz (+3 hours and 55 minutes) and Stephane Peterhansel (+68 hours) had many problems.

That started during the first stage, where many drivers got lost. Likewise Ekstrom and Sainz, who were both more than an hour and a half behind. They were certainly not the only ones and there were drivers who got lost in the other disciplines as well. From the Audi camp there was therefore a lot of criticism of the road book. In addition, there were also problems with the Audi car, which came to a standstill several times with a broken suspension or drive shaft.

Sainz feels unfairly treated

Sainz vented his heart during the rest day and complained about several things. The Spanish rally legend thought, among other things, that the road book was not clear and at the same time also spoke about the disadvantage he would have in his hybrid Audi car.

According to Sainz, the Audi car is considerably heavier than that of the competitors, but they are not compensated for this with, for example, extra power. However, the Dakar organization dismisses that complaint.

“Sainz shouldn’t whine so much”

Sainz also complained about the road book, which should help the drivers find the way during the stages. His team boss even implied in an interview with Spanish television that the leader in the classification, Nasser Al-Attiyah, who was one of the few who immediately found the right way in the first leg, might have had help from the organization to improve the road. to find.

Al-Attiyah does not want to know about that, he tells Motorsport. “He’s always moaning, it’s not the first time this has happened. It’s normal. He exaggerates everything. He has to respect the organization. This is not a good thing to say. Sainz won the rally last year, maybe he won I also had help, but you can’t say that. We have to respect everything and we need that for the sport,” said the leader in the Dakar car classification.

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