Drivers / co-drivers: Sebastien Ogier
and Julien Ingrassia (Citroen Total WRT), Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio (MINI WRT), and Petter Solberg
and Chris Patterson (PSWRT)*.
Olivier Quesnel (Citroen Total WRT).
[* Solberg lost his third place finish after the event when his car was found to be underweight].
Sebastien, congratulations on win number seven in your career and on home soil! How are you feeling?
Very good for sure. There is a lot of stress coming out now. This weekend was very long for me after the problem of Seb [Loeb] and there was a lot of pressure on me. I absolutely had to finish this event and I absolutely had to score points for the team. Dani [Sordo] and Petter [Solberg] made life a bit difficult for me and it was very difficult to take the lead and difficult to beat them. Congratulations first to Dani, he was very fast all weekend. Petter unfortunately had a puncture but he was very fast before then.
You mentioned pressure. How much pressure were you feeling this weekend to achieve a good result for yourself and the team after Loeb retired? It must be a great sense of relief that you won?
I'm really happy with the outcome of this race. I did exactly what I had to do by looking at Dani and the split times. I did the minimum to take the lead but not to take the risk. In the past it has not been about pressure situations. In Argentina when I was 50 seconds in front I just made a stupid mistake. In rallying it can happen all the time but this weekend all the things were perfect for us. It was a big shame for our team-mate because it was his home rally but that's motorsport.
This result puts you just three points behind Sébastien Loeb in the Championship. What do you think your chances are?
You can see now the Championship is very close between three drivers. Everything can happen for sure this weekend. There was a lot of drama especially on the first day and anything can happen to anybody on the next event. For me I continue like this to try to do my best behind the wheel. Then we will see what happens.
Julien, talk to me about the pressure of competing here, knowing that the team needed you to finish in the best position possible, how was it?
You are speaking about pressure, well from the guys who put the pressure in the tyres to the bosses who put the pressure on our shoulders we spent a difficult weekend but it was amazing and we are very glad to win here in France. There were many people on the roads with perfect weather and perfect conditions. It was fun because we had a big fight. There was a lot of pressure this weekend but for sure it's a very good feeling.
How tense was it inside the car?
It was really a big fight. Each stage it was always a fight from the first corner to the last one. Inside the car we tried to keep cool and to get the win but it was not easy with those guys. This morning for example when we lost a bit of time on Dani it's always something disturbing you.
Dani, an amazing battle throughout the weekend and you walk away with your second podium of the year, how does it feel?
This weekend was really nice and a really nice battle with Petter and Ogier. Yesterday was really close and we were pushing really hard. It was difficult to catch him, we tried in the morning but it was difficult.