Drivers / co-drivers: Sebastien Ogier
and Julien Ingrassia (Citroen Total WRT), Sebastien Loeb
and Daniel Elena (Citroen Total WRT), Jari-Matti Latvala
and Miikka Anttila (Ford Abu Dhabi WRT)
Olivier Quesnel (Citroen Total WRT).
Congratulations Sebastien on the third WRC win of your career! We haven't seen you on the podium since Japan last year; is it good to be back?
It's a very good feeling. As you said, it's a long time without the podium for me, around six months, which is so long. I was performing in the last races and fighting for the podium and victory, but for many reasons I didn't finish and today is my third victory. It's a very big pleasure.
Does this make up for Mexico?
Yeah, I think we had very bad luck in Mexico. We were very fast, but we made a mistake. It was not a big mistake, but it had a big consequence and meant we had no points from there. I wanted to come back here and make big points. I was under pressure, but we took a good victory. I want to thank the team; they gave me the perfect car to do it.
How hard was this win?
It's never easy to win a rally, especially when you are fighting at this level, where there are lots of fast guys in the Championship. It's not easy, but this was almost the perfect weekend. We started very carefully on Thursday and wanted to stay in a good position, and then we start to push and get the gap and we had a good gap for today. Today was just to stay on the road and finish the rally, avoiding punctures. Finally we did it and it was a big pleasure to cross the finish line.
You were frustrated after Mexico, do you feel relief you've got your Championship off to a start now?
Yes. There is one thing that can summarise – “I feel good.” [Ingrassia plays tape of James Brown song]. I'm sorry – I spent too much time with Daniel [Elena]!
There have been three winners from the three rounds so far, is it good that you're in the fight?
It's great for us, great for the spectators and for you [the media]. I hope to come back again and play you another song! Sorry, it's great to get in to the fight.
After the rain on stage 16 you had said that you wouldn't push on the Power Stage; what made you change your mind? Were conditions better in stage 17?
The conditions were different in the last stage, it was drying a little bit so I said: “Okay, I have to try.” We started the stage trying hard and we saw in the split times we were in the right rhythm so we continued the stage like that and we have the three points, which is better than nothing. It has not been the easiest weekend for us, we lost our chance in the dust of Mikko yesterday and since that the game was a bit over. Today we decide to take it easy for the last stage.
Why was 37 seconds too much of a gap to overcome?