Without the two mistakes in stages seven and thirteen, Stephane Peterhansel feels the result of the Dakar Rally could have been so much different, although the legendary Frenchman admits that what did happen was part and parcel of what the event is all about.
The Peugeot Sport driver, along with co-driver Jean Paul Cottret, ultimately finished the challenging rally fourth overall, one hour, twenty-five minutes and twenty-nine seconds off rally winning team-mate Carlos Sainz Sr.
Hitting a rock on stage seven cost Peterhansel almost two hours to his team-mate, and he then lost another forty minutes in Friday’s penultimate stage, and the time lost was too much for him to recover across the other stages despite three stage victories.
“It was a crazy Dakar,” said Peterhansel on RedBull.com. “We made two big mistakes and lost a lot of time, with one problem just before Uyuni and one problem yesterday.
“So, I think if we check a little bit, we were stopped on the tracks for close to three hours to make repairs during this Dakar, so it was too much. But that’s the race for you…”
With Peugeot Sport now bowing out of the Dakar Rally after three consecutive race victories, Peterhansel’s future participation in the event is unclear, and there are no guarantee’s that the thirteen-time winner will be back in 2019.
“I don’t know for the future, I have no idea what will happen,” admitted Peterhansel.