Nasser Al-Attiyah ended stage 3 of the Dakar Rally in P8, though, he said he had avoided pushing too much considering Sebastian Loeb’s issues.
Stage 3 was very unfortunate for Loeb, who suffered two punctures and ended the day 33 minutes 34 seconds behind Carlos Sainz, who won the stage. After finding out about his opponent’s problems, Al-Attiyah decided to be more conservative and just reach the finish line without any major problems.
“I think Seb had a problem with the car and we just tried to take it easy without any risks. I’m quite happy to finish the stage without any problems. This will be good for tomorrow.”
Al-Attiyah also spoke about stage 4, which will be a long one. He said that it is going to be crucial to stay focused to defend the lead in the general standings.
“Tomorrow is a very long stage. I think we need to be really careful in the long stages. Tomorrow it won’t be easy to open because it’s the longest stage of the Dakar. Afterward, we’ll see what we can do.”
The leader of the Dakar Rally 2022 in the cars category said that he is not worried about Carlos Sainz’s win because his main target is Loeb.
“I wasn’t surprised to be caught by Carlos because I was going very slowly. It was not a surprise because my main target is Sébastien Loeb, not Carlos Sainz. I don’t need to fight with Carlos because he is too far from us. Seb was the main target, but now Seb has a problem. I don’t know how much he has lost. We’re just trying to control the rally.
“It’s not easy, you know, because now we are on day three and it has happened a lot with many, many drivers, but this is the Dakar and we need to respect the Dakar. We need to be clever and we try to do our best every day because also we have three cars in the Toyota team and they are making mistakes and are too far from the top 5.”