Lappi has endured a torrid campaign in his Citroën C3. Second in Sweden has been his only result of note before a spirited drive onto the podium in Jyväskylä on Sunday restored the smile to the Finn’s face.
He was the only driver capable of matching the pace of Toyota Gazoo Racing trio Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke after changes to his C3’s front differential set-up transformed its handling.
“Maybe I will be a bit lower on the pace on other rallies but it should be much better than before. For sure, Rally Finland is the place where I can perform at my best level,” he said.
“The car should work now as I want in Wales, in Spain, on gravel, in Australia. It should be a better pace compared to the beginning of the season.”
Lappi’s poor run of form led many to fear for his place in Citroën Racing’s line-up and he admitted his upturn in form lifted the pressure from his shoulders.
“I feel good and satisfied, and a little bit relieved as well. This is the rally where, of course, as a Finn I want to perform at, and I am really happy we managed to do that.
“But this is thanks to the parts that we have got for this rally. I am quite sure that I could not have been this competitive with the previous settings so it was good to get the parts now.
“I didn’t need to concentrate on driving at all. I could just listen to pace-notes and enjoy the ride because I could do exactly what I wanted and I really didn’t need to think about it, which had been the case before. Everything came very naturally and that’s the way it should be,” he added.