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Spain - Pre-event press conference

PRESENT: Sebastien Loeb (Citroen Total World Rally Team), Mikko Hirvonen (Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team), Dani Sordo (MINI WRC Team), Sebastien Ogier (Citroen Total World Rally Team)
PRESS CONFERENCE:

Q:
Seb, after 11 rounds of the Championship and five wins this season it seems you are back to square one, the pressure is now on!

Sebastien Loeb:
For sure the situation is a bit different from what it was a few rallies ago. I've had three bad rallies, one with a puncture, one off road and one when we broke the engine on our home rally, but that's it. I'm happy I've done a good job at the start of the season because I am still leading the Championship equal with Mikko. But for sure we have to start everything again from zero now.

Q:
France must have been incredibly disappointing because it was your home event. How were you feeling after that?

Sebastien Loeb:
It was difficult to believe when I stopped in the stage that now it's over for the rally, but you have to deal with it. It's motorsport, it can happen and you cannot complain. We don't break very often something on the car, especially the engine. But it can happen, it happened in the wrong place but that's the situation. We have to push very hard now and we will see what we can do.

Q:
Pushing very hard and taking risks, which at this stage in the season I suppose you don't want to be doing…

Sebastien Loeb:
We have to deal with the situation. We have to take some risks and accept if we take some risks we can do a mistake and the Championship is over, but that's the same for us three.

Q:
There is a saying in English that bad luck comes in threes so now the bad luck should be over for you. But is it in the back of your mind that something could go wrong here?

Sebastien Loeb:
Nothing different from usual. I hope it's finished and I hope we will have a good rally here but like everybody knows there is always something that can happen in the rallies. But you do your best to make sure that nothing will happen.

Q:
We have some stages which will take place in darkness but you recce'd them in daylight, how tough will that be?

Sebastien Loeb:
It is rare to do the recce in the night. I think we have some good headlights! But still we have to do the stage in the night on gravel. It's a very tricky and difficult stage even in the day because it is narrow with big stones everywhere. In the night it will be very tricky.

Q:
What will be the biggest challenge on this rally?

Sebastien Loeb:
To push hard, to stay on the road and to be in front of my two rivals. It's the same for everyone because we will have to fight hard. We will not be in the best position on the first day because of the gravel stages and we know we can lose everything and that it will be difficult to catch it back on Tarmac after that. For sure we have to take risks. The most difficult thing will be to push hard with the pressure we have.

Q:
Mikko, Petter Solberg's exclusion in France is your gain. You join Loeb as joint leader of the Championship. Can you take the fight to Loeb here and in GB?

Mikko Hirvonen:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroen Total World Rally Team
Vaclav Pech in his Mini John Cooper Works S2000 on day one of the Barum Czech Rally Zlin
Vaclav Pech in his Mini John Cooper Works S2000 on day two of the Barum Czech Rally Zlin
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ES), Hyundai I20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Pontus Tidemand (SWE) Emile Axelsson (SWE), Ford Fiesta R5
Pontus Tidemand (SWE) Emile Axelsson (SWE), Ford Fiesta R5, WRC2 winners
StephaneLefebvre (FRA) Thomas Dubois (FRA), Citroen DS3 R3, WRC3 winners
StephaneLefebvre (FRA) Thomas Dubois (FRA), Citroen DS3 R3, WRC3 winners
Simone Tempestini (ROM) Dorian Pulpea (ROM), Citroen Ds3 R3
Bernardo Sousa, Hugo Magalhaes, (Ford Fiesta RRC, #43)
Bernardo Sousa, Hugo Magalhaes, (Ford Fiesta RRC, #43)
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ES), Hyundai I20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ES), Hyundai I20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Yurii Protasov , Pavlo Cheperin (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Yurii Protasov , Pavlo Cheperin (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Yurii Protasov , Pavlo Cheperin (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Yurii Protasov , Pavlo Cheperin (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Yurii Protasov , Pavlo Cheperin (Ford Fiesta WRC)

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