Drivers: Mikko Hirvonen
(Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team), Sebastien Ogier, (Citroen Total World Rally Team), Ken Block (Monster World Rally Team) and Dennis Kuipers (Ferm Power Tools World Rally Team).
Mikko, you arrive in Mexico leading the Drivers' Championship after taking victory in Sweden. Can you challenge for a win here despite being first on the road?
I don't really know. I always seem to end up being in that position here. I have 25 points so far and this is good. I am in a difficult position and I know it is going to be slippery. I have to try and cope with it. It is not out of the question to win, but it is going to be difficult. We are starting a new season again with a new car and we need to know how it is.
Do you feel that the dust issue will help you at all?
Yes, there should not be any dust for me in the morning but you never know on Saturday or Sunday. I might have the dust problem then.
You tested in Portugal before this event. How did that go in terms of the car and also the tyres, being that it is the first time we see the Michelin Latitude gravel tyre in competition?
It was okay. I hit a big rock on the shakedown today and all was okay.
Sebastien, Rally Mexico was your first event in the World Championship back in 2008 when you competed as part of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship. Does this event hold good memories for you?
Like you said, three years ago was my first time in the WRC and it was like a dream. I finished eighth overall and first Junior. Last year I was on the podium. It is nice to be here again and I hope to get another result because this is one of my favourite rallies. I like the stages. The lack of power is the same for everyone. It means I need to drive cleaner than normal.
You took fourth position away from Sweden and were the top-placed Citroen
driver. Do you think we will see a stronger performance from the Citroen
Yes of course! I don't know. It was not the perfect start for our team in Sweden. For me, I scored 15 points in Sweden and I have a good start position for this rally. My time on the shakedown this morning was a good one. My feeling is very good. We have worked hard to prepare for the gravel stages. Like Mikko said, it is the first time for the new cars on gravel.
What are your thoughts on the introduction of the short stage after the ceremonial start?