Present: Yves Matton (Citroen Racing), Jost Capito (Volkswagen Motorsport), Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar World Rally Team) and Dani Sordo (Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team).

Press conference

Q:
Yves, we hear there are now five drivers on the 'list', can you confirm who they are? Could this list possibly increase?

Yves Matton:
Yes, it's Mads Ostberg, Kris Meeke, Dani Sordo, Mikko Hirvonen and Robert Kubica.

Q:
What are the reasons for the inclusion of Meeke, Ostberg and Kubica?

Yves Matton:
Part of the strategy is to bring new talent to the World Rally Championship. We want one driver with the new talent and that is why we speak to the drivers who have never won a rally or have not been for a long time in the WRC.

Q:
When will we get a decision?

Yves Matton:
We hope to have one partly before Rally GB, and the other I won't say when the decision comes.

Q:
We will know about the number one driver first?

Yves Matton:
I don't know if it is the first, but for sure I need a leader. I hope it will be my first choice and I hope I can make the announcement.

Q:
Who will it be?

Yves Matton:
Maybe this is not the time for me to explain my choice?

Q:
What are the objectives for next year?

Yves Matton:
The intention is to try to continue to win some rallies. Like I explain, one of the problems for the WRC is that the number of drivers capable to win the event is too low, that's why we try to bring the new driver - but also we still want to win.

Q:
What are your feelings looking back on the 2013 season?

Yves Matton:
For sure, we did not achieve what we want to achieve. We win some rallies, but at the end, only one title is left. And with only six points needed for Volkswagen to have the title, it will be difficult. Maybe that's the reason we change the philosophy and driver philosophy.

Q:
We saw a very fitting tribute to Sebastien Loeb at the podium in France, what was that like for you?

Yves Matton:
It was in two steps; last year we saw his last title, we knew it and it was very emotional. This year it was really his last rally. A lot of people came and this was important for him. It was something very strange to be there and all this emotion, but I will say the rally was one step in the career - that's also the reason for the part of the emotion that wasn't there... because we know he will be with us for a few years in the World Touring Car Championship.

Q:
Jost, after one Championship was sealed in France it seems that we could possibly see another completed here. You are on the verge of claiming the Manufacturers' Championship here in Spain. How are you feeling ahead of the weekend?

Jost Capito:
The team is quite excited. We still need the six points, everything can happen - we are not on the safe side. We are all very excited and focused; we will see what the weekend brings.

Q:
You have mentioned many times during the season that you did not expect this success. The team seems to be constantly growing in terms of strength - do you feel there are any areas for improvement?

Jost Capito:
I think there is always room for improvement. In whatever sport, you have to improve or you will fall back. We know the strengths and weaknesses for the team and we try to improve. We know the competition is hard next year and we will not lean back.

Q:
Are you still looking at future drivers?

Jost Capito:
Look at our driver line-up, we have the future....

Q:
So you are not looking for any other drivers?

Jost Capito:
We are very happy, we have no need to look anywhere else.

Q:
Is it possible your second team could run two cars?

Jost Capito:
The 2014 driver line-up will be the same as this year.

Q:
Are you disappointed not to be part of this driver market?

Jost Capito:
It's exciting to be watching it!

Q:
I'm sure you are very proud of Volkswagen's success, but what does it mean to the wider company of Volkswagen?

Jost Capito:
The whole company is very proud. When we go into the factory, there are posters everywhere. We had the presentation in the workers meeting in Wolfsburg and we had close to 60,000 people, so the whole company really backs up our efforts. [It would be the same] If we would not have this success. We got the feeling everybody was very proud of it.

Q:
Nasser, firstly, congratulations on securing your ninth FIA Middle East Rally Championship title last weekend! That was also a mixed surface event so do you carry a good bit of confidence after the win?

Nasser Al-Attiyah:
Yes, actually we have a good time in the Middle East. We won most of the rallies [in MERC] and that is very important for me. We are in Spain with a mixed rally and I think we enjoy this rally a lot. Our target is to make a good race and to at least bring one car to the podium.

Q:
We have seen Qatar in collaboration with M-Sport this year. Do you feel it has been a successful partnership? Is it a partnership that will continue? What can you tell us about the plans for next year?

Nasser Al-Attiyah:
I think it's very important to support the team. If we don't support M-Sport then maybe we don't find everything. And the plan we did with Thierry [Neuville], it's not easy from the beginning - we put a lot of money for the team and Thierry, but now we are so happy with him. He is second in the Championship and this is fantastic for the team and for the sponsor. We are quite happy what Qatar do with our support.

Q:
What would you hope for next year?

Nasser Al-Attiyah:
We are still negotiating for next year. We don't know which driver. It's not clear. I will stay in motorsport and continue. We are happy with M-Sport and the team has made a great performance this year.

Q:
Will you personally stay in the WRC?

Nasser Al-Attiyah:
Of course. I would like to continue, but it all comes from Qatar. I will know exactly next week.

Q:
Thierry is the driver everybody wants. How do you hold on to him?

Nasser Al-Attiyah:
We try to help him this year. We saw last year that he is able to make something. Me and Malcolm [Wilson] support him and take the chance, he showed a lot of things. But it's his decision where he wants to go now and we cannot say he [must] stay; the driver needs to get paid in good condition. I would like a good future for him, he is a nice driver and a nice person.

Q:
Dani, you have had a great run of results recently; does this give you more confidence?

Dani Sordo:
Of course, when you win a rally it's fantastic and a really nice sensation; it's really difficult to explain the feeling. Even if we didn't win in France, it was very, very close with five drivers and this was incredible. I arrive here with a good feeling and nice confidence, let's see what happens.

Q:
With the first two days on Tarmac and the final on gravel what will your strategy be?

Dani Sordo:
For myself, it's more easy if we start on gravel. To pass gravel and then on the tarmac is more easy, but the rally is like this and we need to do it as it is. It's okay.

Q:
What can you tell us about next season? What are the options?

Dani Sordo:
I don't have many options. Hyundai is speaking to every driver, that's the option, but not many more.

Q:
Is your passion for rallying the same as it was?

Dani Sordo:
Yeah. We struggle a little bit in the middle of the season, there were some difficult rallies for me and the feeling in the car, but now we get to the tarmac and I am confident. I did do some very nice rallies in tarmac.

Q:
If you win here would it help next year?

Dani Sordo:
I don't think one rally will help for a decision. For me, to be a professional driver you need many things. I have many things and if this is not [enough] we can do other things. We can improve the bad things. In Germany we didn't learn so much when we won, but in Finland the feeling wasn't good and we need to work in this direction. But on tarmac, we always do our best and some rallies we win and other rallies we do the same thing, we don't win, but I am happy with the performance.

Question from the floor

Q: Martin Holmes (Martin Holmes Rallying, UK).
Yves, what will the feeling be if you beat Sebastien Loeb in Condroz?

Yves Matton:
If I pass him in the stage with his wife pushing the car, then I will smile...!

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