19 June 2011
Acropolis Rally - Post-event press conference
We have seen you make mistakes on the final day of the rally twice this year when under pressure. Was that in the back of you mind? Were there any moments out there today?
No, no. You leave that behind you. You try to do your best. It reminds you that everything is not finished until the last check-in and to be careful until the end, but that's normal – we don't speak about it for sure.
Seb, congratulations on second position and gaining your 100th WRC podium, you have had a tough battle this weekend. How are you feeling at the end of it?
It was a really tough battle. I prefer to win, but this is not always possible. It was a difficult weekend for me. We cleaned the road for two days: on the first and third days and for sure this was a disadvantage. I tried really hard, but finally it was not possible.
You were first on the road today, leading the rally by 2.2 seconds. You lost hardly any time on the first loop when sweeping, but lost the bulk of the time on the second run. Was it much rougher second time through?
It's not a question to be much rougher. The first loop had a lot of gravel, so for sure I clean the line, and everybody [after me] slides less and less. The second pass you have a clean line, nearly a clean line but with a little bit of dust from the last cars not using the same line [as us]. Then you have to make a new line and one car is enough to do this. This afternoon I was on the limit – that's life. I am happy here; at the start I said this is the Acropolis and I want be here at the finish. The tyres were good and the car was good and we have good points.
Finland is coming up now. What's the plan for that event?
I really don't know. I didn't think to it. We will see how we can approach this rally. I will have to push, though. The gap [in the Championship] is important and every point we can score is very important. We have to do what we can there.
You were vexed by the tactics played by your team-mate during the weekend. We have seen tactics being played many times, why was this time particularly frustrating?
It was, yesterday evening. I knew it would be some tactics and I knew it would be no issue for me. Finally, there were no split times in the last stage [from Ogier]. With no splits, the team give him [Ogier] the target time. So I asked: “Why do you give him the benefit and not me?” They knew he wouldn't get his five seconds – he wanted 20 to stay ahead. At that moment, I was frustrated. I didn't want to clean the road just in front of him. When you see the team playing tactics nearly against me... ...It's what we agreed before [though]. If I had been in that position, it would have been the same for me. We know it's the rule. For me, it's no team orders; each driver plays his tactics when he wants. If you lead the Championship you cannot do it, but if you are behind you have the cards and it is okay. He has done it right.
Daniel, how difficult was this rally?
For me it is very difficult. But I am very happy to finish this race, we had a big crash in 2009 and when we pass this corner he [Loeb] say: “Yes we have passed this place!” It's a very difficult race. It's very hot on the car and the body, so I am happy to be here.
What was the night stage like, Daniel?
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