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Pre-event press conference – Spain

Why would I want to change anything after the way it's worked this year! Every driver is different. The thing we did this year was to take the pressure off Jari. He's had a good year, he's become a lot more mature. Going into next year, he's going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Q:
They have both tested the Fiesta RS WRC in the past week, was their feedback positive?

MW:
It's great for me, everybody who gets in the car is very positive. But there's no question that there is going to be hard work to do. We've got three months, and, to be honest, we're more used to getting the car out, having one day to test it and then sending it to the rally like we did with the current car in 2005. Having more time means more pressure in Sweden [next year], where we must go for victory. But, we have no issues, just more pressure. There's a lot of work to do, but the boys are very happy.

Q:
Citroën achieved the ultimate success in France securing both Championships; looking back on the season where do you think it went wrong for Ford?

MW:
For sure, we haven't had the season we expected. I think everybody knows we had a great start to the year. We then had some issues which meant we weren't as competitive as we would like in Mexico and Mikko was trying to push harder, but he has had a run like he's never had in the team. Look at his career with us, since he started at Ford, every time he's gone one step up the ladder to the point where he lost the Championship by one point last year. He's in a position he hasn't been in before, this is something new for him to cope with. The biggest disappointment for the team came in Bulgaria in terms of performance. After that, the whole team came together and we were more competitive in Finland and have been since. For sure, if we were going to continue with this car we have learned a lot, but we're moving to a new car next year, where there will be a level playing field. The great thing is that you never stop learning and the things we have learned about this car, we're able to take forward to the new car. Mikko has had a difficult year and Jari has had a fantastic year; if you were to tell me that Jari would score four fastest times in France, I'd have a put a fairly substantial bet that it wouldn't be the case. So, it's not all doom and gloom, there are definitely some positives to be taken from a difficult year.

Q:
You've talked about strengthening the team for next year. Can you tell us more?

MW:
We're always looking. Those issues are commercially based. We're always looking for solutions, but they involve sponsors. It's too early to say, but from my point of view we want get back to where we were in 2006 and 2007, when we were bringing Jari along – that's a goal of mine, for sure.

Q:
A first rally finish in France, without using SupeRally Ken; did you change your approach at all?

Ken Block:
The approach has been the same all season. It was really disappointing in Germany, which is one of the toughest asphalt events in the world, and I was sitting pretty decent. The car let me down, but that's rally. For my first tarmac event, in Germany I thought I dealt really well with that. In France, the conditions were so crazy. The mechanical issues I had, I ended 12th, it could have been lot worse.

Q:
What do you think of the stages here?

KB:
I never raced on tarmac on roads like these; they're very much like a circuit. Kimi had an advantage here. I'm going to enjoy the gravel tomorrow; I'm really looking forward to that. These asphalt events have given me a huge learning experience, and tomorrow is quite different for the roads and there's more experience.

Q:
There are quite a few rumours surrounding the Monster World Rally Team right now – mainly regarding a possible second driver for 2011. Kimi Räikkönen and Chris Atkinson are the names been whispered around – what can you tell us? Will there be a second car next year?

KB:
Well, myself and my sponsors, we've always wanted two cars – it's good branding for those involved in the programme. To have two cars would help me with my lack of experience, it's the goal, but it's a matter of finding the budget. There are a lot of good drivers without seats, a case in point is Chris Atkinson – he's my gravel team! Kimi may be in there too, it's a case of solving the budget question.

Q:
What is the plan for this event then – is it your first sample of a 'mixed' surface event?

KB:
I think it's a great idea. Rally drivers are adaptable, we drive on mud and snow and everything. It's a great way to show the attributes we have as divers. Asphalt and gravel are great in the same stage; it gives us a showcase for our skills to adapt to those kind of things.

Q:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Ken Block (USA), Ford Focus WRC 08, Monster World Rally Team
Malcolm Wilson, Team Principal, Ford World Rally Team
Dani Sordo (ESP), Citroen C4 Citroën Total World Rally Team
Dani Sordo (ESP) Diego Vallejo (ESP), Citroen C4 Citroën Total World Rally Team

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