11 March 2012
Rally Mexico - Post-event press conference
Rally Mexico post-event press conference with Sebastien Loeb, Mikko Hirvonen, Petter Solberg and Yves Matton.
Drivers / co-drivers: Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena (Citroen Total WRT), Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen (Citroen Total WRT) and Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson (Ford WRT).
Team principal: Yves Matton (Citroen Total WRT).
Sebastien, congratulations on your sixth consecutive win here at Rally Mexico, second win so far this season. It's going well for the Drivers' Championship defence so far!
I am very happy. I feel it was a long weekend. I can say there were a lot of long stages. It was a lot of pressure and a big battle especially with Mikko. Finally, we are here for the sixth time. They are nice shoes - it is a great moment!
The route changed a little this year, what did you think of the new format?
For sure, the long one today was okay. We did not have to push hard, we just had to try and stay focused. Yesterday, the 42 kilometre stage was more demanding. It was very hard and long and twisty. It was hot in the car and we had to push at this moment. It was okay. I was confident. We had no problems at all. That has been the key of the success of the team.
Which driver's pace concerned you most this weekend?
The Fords improved a lot in Mexico. We did not work a lot with the altitude – maybe we were too much confident in Mexico. Maybe we saw their improvement and we had to fight very hard. It was important to finish first and second.
Congratulations Daniel, another win in Mexico - how have you found the event this year?
It's nice, but when you know the stage surface it is better. It is very fast now – there is one stage – eight kilometres of cobblestones now. It's okay. The two new stages, Mexicanos and Minas, were difficult and technical. Ortega was nice but not with the problems with some persons. I don't know where they were but it was dangerous for the crews.
Mikko, your first gravel event in the Citroen DS3, how was it?
It was very good. I am happy with the result from here. I was quite happy with the pace on Friday and early Saturday. The more I tried to push the worse my times were getting. I had a good lesson this week. Maybe I was too aggressive some times. I need to be smoother more often, but it was important to get a one and two finish.
How much were you pushing on Saturday morning to try to catch your team-mate? When did you realise that a win here was not possible?
Seb gave me a little bit of a lesson, that is all. I need to be more consistent.
You were fastest through the longest stage of the day, 36 minutes of talking through pace notes! How tough was that?
Fifty-three pages of notes today on the long stage! [Daniel Elena commented 51 pages and Chris Patterson 96]. The stage was really nice, so fast, nice and flowing. In normal conditions it would have been tough, but the positions were decided and it was a case of avoiding mistakes. When we heard about the problem of Jari-Matti [Latvala] rolling, then we were more careful. I thought the stage was never going to end until I reached the 53rd page!
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