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Japan - Post-event press conference.

Drivers / co-drivers: Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen (BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT), Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Antilla (BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT) and Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena (Citroen Total WRT).

Team principal: Malcolm Wilson (BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT).



Press conference.


Q:
Congratulations on a very confident win here in Japan. The Drivers' Championship is now over though - mixed emotions for you?

Mikko Hirvonen:
Yes it is. I'm really happy we won here again and we did it like last year. That's what we came here for. That was our plan. We needed the win, but then Sébastien did exactly what he needed to as well. That fight is over. His fifth title is quite incredible. It's over now. Hopefully we can try again next year.

Q:
We have seen tricky conditions in Japan, especially today with the weather. Has it been one of the toughest?

MH:
It's been one of the most nerve-wracking rallies in a long, long time. The conditions were so difficult. Friday was good, we had good times and comfortable speed. But you never know what speed these guys are doing. When I backed off, they came close straight away, so I had to go flat-out again. This was a new place, the nature of the stages was new, they were a little bit soft maybe, but they were good.

Q:
You saw your lead slashed by your team-mate today after the first group of stages. How much pressure did you feel from Jari-Matti?

MH:
You can't tell how fast he's going to come, so I went flat through the second time and hoped it would work. And it worked, we got the result we needed for Ford here.

Q:
The title race this year has been predominantly between two drivers; you and Sébastien; it must be good to know that it was you that was the closest to the most successful World Champion the WRC has ever seen?

MH:
It's maybe something. Look at the result, he won 10 events and I was relying on my consistency. It did get better in the second half of the season, but we couldn't really be there. We're going to be there next year and have a very good fight for the Championship next year.

Q:
It's a fight to the finish for the Manufacturers' title on Wales Rally GB; it will be important to repeat this result for the team…

MH:


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