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Pre-event press conference - Japan

Drivers: Sebastien Loeb (Citroen Total World Rally Team), Jari-Matti Latvala (BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team), Kimi Raikkonen (Citroen Junior Team)
Q:
Sebastien, this is the first round in which you could win the 2010 Drivers' Championship - is this on your mind going into the event?

Sebastien Loeb:
For sure, everybody is talking about that and for sure I know it's possible. I try not to think to that. My job is to do a good rally here. It will depend how I feel, we don't need to win. I will see how I feel. The most important is to finish and to take points.

Q:
This will be the second time the event is held in Sapporo, but it's earlier in the year this time, what do you think of the stages here?

SL:
I don't think the difference in the roads is because of the change of season. Some stages were destroyed last year (2008) and they are the same this year, with the ruts. There's some gravel where the ruts are, but with the WRC we drive in the ruts. I don't like this condition, but it's the same for everybody.

Q:
The Japanese fans have embraced rallying and are incredibly enthusiastic and dedicated; do you enjoy the attention and the atmosphere here?

SL:
It's quite incredible to see the people follow you everywhere, I saw people in Narita [airport] and then I saw the same people on the recce and in the hotel, they are everywhere - it's Japan.

Q:
Does that bother you, the people following you?

SL:
No it's okay. It's a special atmosphere. It's nice to get the gifts they give to us, they are fanatical about the sport. It's good.

Q:
This event does not have a place on next year's calendar - would you like to see it return?

SL:
For the manufacturer, it's good, but from my side I don't like the stages. If they want to continue [in the WRC] they would have to work on the stages, but otherwise it's okay.

Q:
Were the stages better in Obihiro?

SL:
I don't remember so much. The problem here is the gravel, it's so soft – they repaired it, but not very nicely, that's not so good.

Q:
What will your approach be on the opening day?

SL:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Markku Alen and Jari-Matti Latvala. Neste Oil Helsinki Battle 2014 [Pic credit: VW]
Timmu Korge. Ford Fiesta R5. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Ott Tanak. Ford Fiesta R5. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Bernardo Sousa, Hugo Magalhaes, (Ford Fiesta RRC, #43)
Bernardo Sousa, Hugo Magalhaes, (Ford Fiesta RRC, #43)
Bernardo Sousa, Hugo Magalhaes, (Ford Fiesta RRC, #43)
Michal Solowow (POL) Maciej Baran (POL), Ford Fiesta WRC
Michal Solowow (POL) Maciej Baran (POL), Ford Fiesta WRC
Michal Solowow (POL) Maciej Baran (POL), Ford Fiesta WRC
Michal Solowow (POL) Maciej Baran (POL), Ford Fiesta WRC
Michal Solowow (POL) Maciej Baran (POL), Ford Fiesta WRC
Henning Solberg, Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta WRC, #16)
Henning Solberg, Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta WRC, #16)
Henning Solberg, Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta WRC, #16)
Henning Solberg, Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta WRC, #16)
Henning Solberg, Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta WRC, #16)
Martin Prokop, Michal Ernst (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #21 Jipocar Czech National Team)

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