Drivers / co-drivers: Sebastien Ogier
and Julien Ingrassia (Citroen Junior Team), Sebastien Loeb
and Daniel Elena (Citroen Total WRT) and Dani Sordo and Marc Marti (Citroen Total WRT)
Olivier Quesnel (Citroen Total WRT)
Sebastien, congratulations on claiming your first WRC win! How does it feel?
It's difficult to explain the feeling now. I am very, very happy. A few weeks ago it was a big disappointment not to win (in New Zealand), but finally I knew it was a great performance and a great weekend in New Zealand. But this weekend was just perfect. We pushed very hard from the start to the last day and I have the first victory. To get this against Séb, it's very good. He is the best driver in rally and the best in history; he is the reference for everybody.
Yes, it is special to win against Sébastien Loeb, isn't it…
I was thinking, maybe it's good to wait and to get the first victory like this.
What was it like when you crossed the finish line?
It was a long wait before the start of the (final) stage. Everybody started to congratulate me and I was saying: “Can't you remember New Zealand: three corners to the end!” I prefer to wait for the finish line. It's special and nice to win in the stadium with a lot of people and a lot of my friends.
When you look back to this time last year, things were very different for you; there had been mistakes and retirements but now you have totally transformed into a consistently fast driver – when do you feel it all changed around for you?
It was difficult last year, arriving in WRC without the experience is difficult. Last year, I had never driven the big car, so it was difficult to adapt to the speed. Okay it was a fantastic moment for us, but we progress with that and the team has helped us a lot. They continued to put confidence in us and I think I have to thank them. It's thanks to Citroën that I'm here today. The second half of the (2009) season we progressed rally after rally – it's almost perfect. Now we have the win and now we have to progress on tarmac where we don't have a lot of experience. My next goal is to progress on tarmac.
What was it like when you stood on top of the podium?
It feels good, for sure. I said in New Zealand we were in progress and it was a question of time. We have to make more work in the recce and in the race. Each night we watch the video together, it's a big job, but it's great when you get the result like this. Mr Quesnel and the whole team trusted us and we are better today.
Were there a lot of nerves coming into the final day? Did you imagine your first WRC win would come so early on in your career?
I usually heard Daniel (Elena) say for sure the pressure is in tyres, but the pressure was here! This weekend we never felt stress or pressure. We drove for the good result and last night we said let's continue like this. Today there was no pressure and we are happy because we are here. We had a little story from Daniel and Séb: they took us like rabbits and they were the hunter, we have to be fast to avoid the bullets!
Séb, you take second position away from Portugal – it seems there was no catching Ogier this weekend?
Basically… I try. He was really strong all the weekend, especially on the second pass he was very, very fast. We couldn't make any difference today in the afternoon. Maybe I was not fast enough the first day; I was thinking to the mistake in New Zealand and didn't want the same risk – I was waiting a bit that it happens. Finally, we lost a bit of time and we couldn't catch it again. He showed me here he is faster than anybody else in the Championship. We couldn't do anything.