14 April 2013
Rally de Portugal - Post-event press conference
This morning it was obvious when we had drama, but it was not so obvious when we had the drama at other times during the weekend. I am very proud of the four boys here, but not only them – I am very proud of the whole team and we should dedicate this win to the mechanics. The team made a new car at every service. We used all of our luck here, but we discovered something important – we found out our car is as fast in front-wheel drive as it is in four-wheel drive. It's true, look at the splits.
Jari-Matti has shown more confidence here than at any event so far this year, what have you thought of his performance?
His performance was perfect all weekend. In Mexico, he was unlucky. We had the test between the events and I believe it will be even better in the future. As you know, I believe in Jari for the eight or nine years I know him. He is a brilliant member of the team and this fantastic team atmosphere is the basis of the results we have now. You mentioned team orders: we don't have a number one or two in this team. We discussed yesterday and I say that we don't care who wins, but which guy who goes off will not be very prominent…
The Championship is looking good now…
We couldn't be in a better position now, nobody could have expected this. We always said Portugal would be the first critical rally. This is rough and very hard – and by the way one of the most beautiful rallies. We had a lot of teething problems here. When the other cars have been at the same speed they have been very competitive, we had our luck – but we have found we were competitive with the drivers, the team, the mechanics, the team management and the engineers. We have all been competitive in a hard job through the weekend. Don't forget we had three cars and we kept them working – I am extremely proud. And Andreas [Mikkelsen] did a brilliant job. But this was a very hard and very lucky weekend for us with a very good end.
Q: Markus Stier (Sport Auto, Germany).
Sebastien, you said you wouldn't risk it all on the Power Stage…
He told us the same!
What can I say? When I am in the car, I say why not – when you have the feeling in the car, it's the best way to stay concentrated.
So, you are trying to say, when others are so slow, it's not your fault?
Not really! It was a long stage and we'd had problems with the car, I thought I had to bring it back to service and we did that. Today was less rough and the feeling was good so I enjoyed the last 52 kilometres.
Q: Gabriela Melo (A Bola, Portugal).
I would like to ask the drivers and team manager what they think of the possible move to the north and away from the Algarve?
For me, I have a good feeling in the Algarve. I won the three last times I was in a World Rally Car – I would like to come back here. I don't know the north, in the past it looks like a nice rally. I like coming to Portugal, so it doesn't matter if it's north or here.
The rally here is really nice. It's nice with challenging stages, but I'm sure there are some really nice roads in the north as well. We see in Fafe, there are millions of spectators. There are a lot here, but sure, it will be crazy when we get up there.
Overall, we have the most passionate spectators in Europe here and we can see when we are in Fafe that they have the same spirit. Here also there are spectators, but I think not the same amount of people. The rally is well organised and there is a good location, but on the other hand we need to bring the rally to the people – at the end I think it can be a good thing to go in the north, even though it is almost perfect here.
I don't know the north, but when I talk to Carlos Sainz, he says the rally is fantastic. I came here in 2007 and this year and it is also fantastic here. There is nothing wrong with giving the rally to different people at different times. It is brilliant here and up north and the organisers do a great job wherever the rally is.
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