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Rally de Portugal – Pre-event press conference

This is not the plan, he don't want to do that. We have four extra events and those are the rallies he is doing this year. But, if we need one more result for the title, I will ask him – but I don't know if he will accept!

Q:
Last night we saw the launch of the Citroen Top Driver programme; can you tell us why Citroen has decided to provide this platform?

Yves Matton:
Citroen is involved for more than 20 years in the development of drivers. When I come back to Citroen I wanted the complete pyramid. For the first time this year we have this. We have the [DS3] R1 in national championships and the top of the pyramid will be the last level before a driver moves on to be in the official World Rally Car. Last year, 10 drivers achieved this and I am proud we can do this and I hope we can again bring somebody forward.

Q:
Also here in Portugal we see Robert Kubica compete in the WRC 2 Championship - what are your expectations of him here and what were your thoughts on his performance on Tarmac in the Canaries a few weeks ago?

Yves Matton:
It's his first event on gravel: we have to let him learn. In the test we saw what he can do, but the most difficult thing for him will be pace notes and reading the road. We need to let him have some time.

Q:
Last night the team unveiled the new R5, what can you tell us about the testing and development around it?

Yves Matton:
It started a couple of weeks [ago]. We are working on the car – it will be zero car in Rallye de France and homologated on January 1 to have some cars in Monte Carlo next year.

Q:
Jari-Matti, you are now heading into your fourth event with Volkswagen. How do you think it is going so far with the team?

Jari-Matti Latvala:
I guess, yeah, everybody has seen I haven't been on my best performance with the team. For sure, the car is quick and reliable, but it's maybe the same situation as the one Dani [Sordo] is having. This is not having the confidence in the car and this is what I am suffering with. I know what I need to improve to get more confidence, it is in the front diff. Unfortunately, the current regulations say you have to use the same transmission for three events; I did Sweden, Mexico and now here using the same transmission. I can't implement the change until Argentina. I need to get as good a feeling as I can with the car, then I can improve for Argentina.

Q:
How was qualifying?

Jari-Matti Latvala:
It was alright, but there was a bit of hesitation. When you have to push, this is when I still struggle. It's in the braking where I am not 100 per cent yet. It will come when I get the right balance. I need to accept that situation and drive the car as it is.

Q:
Are the team giving you pressure?

Jari-Matti Latvala:
No, it is a very nice situation with the team. They are giving me a lot of support. But for sure they can't give that forever and I have to show potential some time – that's the reality of life. I don't put pressure on myself here, but I hope to get a bit stronger after here.

Q:
What's the hardest thing about this event?

Jari-Matti Latvala:
For me, this is the most difficult gravel rally of the Championship, because of the characteristics of the roads. There are a lot of blind crests where it's hard to see where the corner is turning – it makes it very hard to judge on the recce. As well as that, a lot of long corners have rocks inside or concrete inside and outside; there are many objects to hit and you have to find all of this in the notes. But at the same time, you need to make sure you are not giving too much information.

Q:
Have you got that yet?

Jari-Matti Latvala:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Jonas Andersson (SUE), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR), Skoda Fabia S2000
Yves Matton [Pic credit: Citroen]
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport

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