Thick snow are a tragedy for the Frenchman, leaving him to plough a faster and cleaner line in his Citroën C3 for those following. This was exactly when he finished a lowly 10th those conditions that ruined his own hopes 1 2 months past.

“I expect that people have good conditions so we could enjoy ourselves, although I’m aware that running first is quite often a substantial disadvantage, thanks to this coating of snow covering the icehockey, ” said Ogier, a three-time Sweden winner.

Cold weather since Christmas has abandoned plenty of warm snow and snow reports indicate the roads lack the ice that allows the top to be bitten in by the tyres and supply grip.

“We’ll need to see how the roads evolve for the 2nd passes, but I fear that using the coating of ice presently on the roads, the gravel will begin to appear quite fast,” included Ogier.

Gravel enhances traction, but it also quickly rips studs out of the tyres. Grip is severely reduced by that in braking zones where the surface develops water-filled ruts.

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