Drivers / co-drivers: Sebastien Loeb
and Daniel Elena (Citroën Total WRT), Petter Solberg
and Chris Patterson (PSWRT) and Jari-Matti Latvala
and Miikka Anttila (BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT).
Olivier Quesnel (Citroën Total WRT)
Sébastien, you clinch the final win of the season and the last win in the Citroën C4, congratulations! It was a great battle! How are you feeling?
I'm feeling very happy and relieved because it has been a tough battle; really fast and really impressive on this rally. Petter was pushing really hard and I know that he would never give up so I had to push on the limit. I had a few moments yesterday but we had to take those risks and I really wanted to do my best to win, especially here for the last race in the C4. It was something I really wanted and we've done it. I have so many memories of the car. I admire Petter behind the steering wheel, but I also admire what he has done with his team and his motivation to build his own team. I hope he will be with us (next year).
What has been your best memory with the car?
For me it was France, two rallies ago. It was an incredible feeling for me and nearly the best moment of my career. I can compare it to my first title in 2002 in Corsica. In France there were so many fans, all my friends and family were there and to have that result in my home town was really great. Maybe it's my best memory of this car.
How much are you looking forward to 2011 with a brand new car?
For sure I am looking forward. I am happy to finish with a victory with the C4, and now it is a new challenge and I am happy. We start with a new car, new regulations, and a new driving style. We have a lot of things to learn and improve. For sure a lot of work but I hope it is in the right way for the Championship. It's a good car to drive, and we have to fight a bit more with it.
Did you feel 'safe' at any point in the rally where you thought 'Okay, Petter can't catch me now'?
In the middle of the third stage of the day I felt, 'okay, this is going in the right direction' but before that I really had to push hard because in that first stage in the morning we were equal. At the end of that stage I took a little advantage and in the next one he took a little time – I think he hit a stone a little bit. And then the gap was a bit stronger and I was a bit more confident, but 4.1s was not enough to lead. So I started to push in the next one and in the middle of that stage it was okay.
Daniel, is it a relief to know that you guys have come through with the win after being so close?
When you have Petter behind you it's never easy. Okay, the gap at one stage today was 14.3s and it's easier because you have to keep 0.5 ahead each kilometre. It's easy to have a mistake in this race because it is very muddy. When it rains it is better grip for everybody. With the mud it is very difficult and your concentration must be maximum. When you have Petter snapping at your heels it is not easy.
Petter, an incredible battle throughout the weekend! You began the day just 4.8 seconds behind Sébastien, but you couldn't seem to match his pace today. Where did it go wrong?
Basically, we go into every rally to fight and that's it. We had good confidence and the car worked really well and we could push hard, but then he took some time in that stage this morning and we didn't have a chance. If it had been raining it would have been much easier to be closer but that's how it is. I had great fun, good fighting and really attacking and it wasn't meant to be. Next year, maybe.