Drivers / co-drivers: Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena (Citroen Total WRT), Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio (MINI WRC Team) and Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson (Ford WRT).

Team principal: Yves Matton (Citroen Total WRT).

Press conference.

Q:
Sebastien, congratulations on win number 68 of your career and your sixth win at Rallye Monte-Carlo! How has it felt to be back competing here?

Sebastien Loeb:
For sure it is a pleasure for me to be back in Monte-Carlo, but for different reasons. First, this is the most specific rally of the year; it's a rally which is in France and it's the home rally of my co-driver. We won this rally a lot of times and one more time today. I'm really happy to be back here.

Q:
Taking maximum points on the Power Stage also means your season has got off to the best possible start.

Sebastien Loeb:
It couldn't be better. Great start to take 28 points. There were nearly no mistakes, a little mistake with the tyre choice at the start, but there was some very good help from the team in the choices we made. [It was a] good drive and great atmosphere. Yes, it's great to start the season like that.

Q:
What did you think of the five-day format?

Sebastien Loeb:
I was not a fan, it's not for me. I think it's a bit long. I think it's a bit long for everybody: for the journalists, the drivers and I'm not sure it brings more media for the two extra days. For the private drivers, it's also more complicated, I'm not a fan of that.

Q:
There are three manufacturers on the podium here; do you expect a big fight from not only Ford, but MINI as well?

Sebastien Loeb:
You should ask Dani [Sordo] if he will be fast everywhere, he will try for sure. But yes, it looks good to have three manufacturers on the podium, hopefully it continues like this.

Q:
At the start of another WRC season are you feeling as passionate as you ever were about defending your title?

Sebastien Loeb:
Yes. It's for that that I'm here. For sure my goal is to try and get another title, but it was another possibility to stop with eight. I still have the record and I don't take the risk to lose in my last season. But I enjoy what I do: driving and fighting. I'm really happy to start again and the motivation is the same.

Q:
Daniel, a win very much at home for you, congratulations. What have you thought about the new five-day format here?

Daniel Elena:
I am very happy. I did [drive] last year the rally and I finished. But now I am first and this year I enjoyed it, it was very complicated and then last night in the Turini, there was a fantastic atmosphere.

Q:
The weather was quite calm on this Monte?

Daniel Elena:
It's never easy. You have two days which were complicated. Day one and day three were tough. The first day with the snow in Burzet, but we did a very good first loop with the super soft tyre and this puts us on the red line [for tyres], thank you Petter! And the third day, it's very difficult. After that, you go on the stages and Sebastien [was worried he could] lose the race, but in the end it was a good choice [of tyres]. This was a very complicated race.

Q:
Dani, congratulations on second position. To see a MINI back on the podium is something special, how are you feeling about the result?

Dani Sordo:
The feeling is really, really good to do a podium on the first rally of the season. For MINI to come to Monaco again and to finish second was very good.

Q:
Have you been pleased with the performance of the car here?

Dani Sordo:
The performance was very good - you can see this. We can have some evolution for Mexico and we can be happy, so maybe we do a little bit better there.

Q:
There was a little incident on the first day but other than that were there any moments out there?

Dani Sordo:
The only problem was on the second stage of the rally, we hit a bridge, we were lucky and we stayed. After that we did an incredible choice of tyres. We did hit some ice and we were lucky, but yesterday we pushed hard to do some good times. I was a little bit scared, but it was good.

Q:
The MINI John Cooper Works WRC is clearly very quick on asphalt, what about on gravel?

Dani Sordo:
The car is competitive in the last [gravel] rally of the [last] season, there were some really good times with Kris [Meeke]. We can do nice things on gravel, but at the moment we have done more development and we are more specialists on tarmac. But we do three podiums on seven rallies, this is not bad.

Q:
Carlos, a good result to start the season, what is the aim for you both in 2012?

Carlos del Barrio:
To go as fast as possible, and try and prove our speed with the car. And to be happy, there is nothing special about it. We have enjoyed this event. The battle with Petter and Chris was fantastic. We had very good moments on Friday morning, and these kinds of things make us happy. We had tough moments before Christmas and this is well deserved for the team.

Q:
Petter, you are rejuvenated for the new season. Tell us about that, where did it come from?

Petter Solberg:
Well, the car fits into my hands very quickly. We had a good one-day test before the rally. It's good to have a proper team with a lot of people. When we went testing, it was a good feeling all the time - but I must say this car is very fast. This rally is the most difficult for me, but it was a really good feeling and this is my best start to the season ever! We won four stages. I'm really happy, a good start.

Q:
Tyres play a big part of this event, how difficult was that aspect?

Petter Solberg:
It's always difficult, but we had a lot of guys and they do a very good job. We took some risks with the tyre choices to try and take some time, but that's the risk on this event. We almost took Sordo, that's the challenge I enjoy. They tell me the car is better on snow and gravel - so I am looking forward to that test!

Q:
The last stage you used 'worn' tyres and one winter tyre; had you run out of an allocation of others?

Petter Solberg:
We thought it should be snow on the left side! We had a puncture earlier in the event and that was the tyre we should have used, that's how it is. Unfortunately we couldn't fight for the Power Stage points here, but next time we will be there and fighting. It's great to be back in the team. You know there is a very nice family feeling in the team.

Q:
And tell us about the season ahead...

Petter Solberg:
I feel very sorry for Jari-Matti He started very well, he's a very good team-mate. He's working very hard. As a team we work very well together and we will be very strong. Together we want to fight for the Manufacturers' title; we want to win the title. I think everybody's a bit fed-up with Loeb winning the title! He has done a very good job on this rally, but we have to have an aim or there is no point to drive.

Q:
Chris, a new team for the year ahead - how is it all working so far?

Chris Patterson:
It has been seamless, and this is one of the benefits of the team: they have made us very, very welcome. They're working with us and we are working with them. It's down to the good people in the team who have just welcomed us in, it's working fantastically well.

Q:
How much of a challenge is it to co-drive on this event?

Chris Patterson:
This whole rally is a challenge from the first stage of the recce to the last stage of the rally. The road sections are very difficult, there's a lot of traffic around and you have to keep three steps ahead to stay on time. We have been here for one week and one day of complete concentration. It's a challenge and one we enjoy. When we got to the last time control there was relief and a great result.

Q:
Yves, maximum points for Sebastien Loeb, and Citroen leads the Manufacturers' Championship after the opening round. How would you evaluate the first event of the season?

Yves Matton:
For sure it's a great weekend to win in Monte-Carlo and with all the stages in France, it's very important for the brand. And six wins for S?bastien is very good, but also we did first and second in the Power Stage, which is very good for the Championship. Mikko did a great job as well.

Q:
You have a new driver on board in Mikko Hirvonen, what have you thought of his performance this weekend?

Yves Matton:
Yes, he fits very well in the team. We ask him to be at the end of the rally to take points, then to go step-by-step until his feeling is better. He did this and the proof of this is the three fastest times. It's very good for us going to Sweden.