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Rallye Deutschland - Pre-event press conference

First of all, it is important to have the right tyres, to have a good feel and then see what happens. I hope to be able to fight for the podium. We had our best result here with fourth place overall in 2010 and we won some stages last year. But first you need to be consistent before you can win the rally. I will try my best. If we can be close, it is good, but you have to be enjoying it and be relaxed first.

Q:
In terms of testing and preparation, do you feel satisfied with what has been achieved? You have been testing on a circuit in France - tell us about that?

Jari-Matti Latvala:
The test was more about working with the tyres and the driving technology. Before this rally, we tested in the vineyards and Baumholder. I am quite confident with the car. It has improved a lot. The car was good in Monte Carlo already and will be good here. But due to the changes, we have to work with new notes, you have to be really concentrated in the vineyards. The tyre choice will be difficult as well, especially if the weather changes.

Q:
What will your approach be for this event and how do you begin to prepare for the 'Panzerplatte'?

Jari-Matti Latvala:
Panzerplatte is my favourite stage in the rally. It is wide, you choose your lines, it goes up and down. It reminds me a little bit of Finland, but then on a concrete surface, and with the Hinkelsteins at the side of the road. It is very long stage with 44 kilometres, but the main thing is to look after your tyres, not to destroy them. I enjoy going there.

Q:
Thierry, we have only seen you compete here once in the past and that was in a S1600. How do you think you will fare in a World Rally Car?

Thierry Neuville:
My first experience here was quite bad: the engine went after a few stages. I am happy to be here. Preparations went well, the shakedown went well, I am happy to be here.

Q:
We have seen you do well on events where you have little experience, why do you think you are able to adapt so quickly?

Thierry Neuville:
It will definitely help me. Most of the stages are relatively new, which could help me close up to the faster drivers, but many others are really quick and they know exactly what to do with the set-up when it rains.

Q:
We have seen you compete well on both Tarmac and gravel - which surface do you feel more at home on?

Thierry Neuville:
My experience on Tarmac is much better, my confidence is much better and I should be making less mistakes, so that is what I want to show this weekend.

Q:
What do you feel is the toughest aspect of the event?

Thierry Neuville:
It depends on if it rains or not. If it rains, it will be a very tough weekend for us. I have never driven the new Michelin tyres in the wet.

Q:
What do you expect from Panzerplatte?

Thierry Neuville:
It will be a very difficult stage. We have seen a lot of dust on the recce, there are many blind corners and very fast sections, so you need to manage the tyres.

Q:
Could we see you challenging for a podium here?

Thierry Neuville:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Thierry Neuville (BEL), Citroen DS3 WRC
Thierry Neuville (BEL), Citroen DS3 WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Ford World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team

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