Drivers / co-drivers: Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Motorsport), Ott Tanak and Raigo Molder (DMACK WRT) and Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai Motorsport)

Team representative: Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport

Press conference

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Q:
Sebastien, congratulations on your fourth win here at Wales Rally GB and your first gravel win of the season! It must be very satisfying that the team has also secured the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers here too?

Sebastien Ogier:
There are plenty of things to be satisfied with, but I think the number one was the manufacturers' title. We came here for that, this was the main target. We repeat it all the time, but this is a team sport - without the team we would not be the world champion for the fourth time with Julien. I always like to make it in style and I knew I was missing a gravel win - so this was what I wanted. I knew I would have the advantage on the road, unlike the other gravel rallies, but it didn't come easy because of this man [Tanak]. Ott had great speed: I had the road position, he had the tyres, but all-in-all it was not easy to stay in front. But we made it and we achieved all of our targets.

Q:
There was a rare phenomenon on Friday when both your team-mates experienced drive shaft failure. You were also worried about a noise in the transmission - how concerned were you throughout the weekend?

Sebastien Ogier:
Let's say after Friday I was not [concerned] anymore. After Friday I was happy it wouldn't happen again, but during Friday we finished right on the limit. It was working, but the transmission was really sick. One stage more and we would have suffered the same problem as our team-mates. Luckily our car survived and it was enough to be crowned manufacturer champions. But certainly on Friday, I had a lot of stress.

Q:
Were conditions tougher than expected after a largely dry recce?

Sebastien Ogier:
The thing is we didn't have any rain the whole week, but the fog brought drizzle and humidity and then the conditions were like always here. It was slippery. When it rains heavily, the mud clears, but that didn't happen this time - it was pretty tricky in places. Also speaking again about what was good for us here: it was good to win this rally four times in a row. Now we are equal with Petter [Solberg] here for victories, that's a good feeling and it's good from this year. It was a tough event like always here. It's funny to remember from a couple of years ago that this was one of my less favourite rallies, but now with Portugal it's one of my most successful.

Q:
Good weekend Julien?

Julien Ingrassia:
For sure. I was thinking during the recce, I properly love the landscape and stages and also the itinerary is really beautiful, I really like it. So yeah, this is a special rally; things like doing the day without service - it was a long day. Yesterday was also tough with just one set of tyres, this has become kind of the identity on this rally. As Seb said, we are really happy to achieve our season here with a good run. Now it's time to think to 2017 and I wonder what it will look like? If I was not there in the car in Monte Carlo then it would be really cool to be there to watch. I wonder will Hyundai find a fourth level on their service park? We can wonder... And also this weekend, the new co-driver for Stephane Lefebvre - Gilles De Turckheim - he is one of my best friends and I met him 20 years ago. It was him who offered me my first season as a co-driver in 1998, so it's funny to see we reach this point on Rally GB. Just a smile for him, it's good to see we are part of a big family. Like Sebastien said, I want to thank the 200 and more people who work hard all year long. We have the rally, the test and the new car coming for next year and everybody is really tired. But this is not the time to release the pressure: come on guys, let's get ready for Monte Carlo!

Q:
Ott, another strong performance from you this weekend where you scored the most stage wins with a total of 12. Safe to say it was a good weekend for you here in Wales?

Ott Tanak:
For sure there were some happy days. The last couple of rallies we have struggled a bit, but I enjoyed to be back in the battle. I felt the excitement in myself. Friday we had some tricky conditions and some small issues, like everybody - it was really challenging for everybody. After the puncture we tried to keep the pressure on Seb, but I don't know if we really gave him pressure.

Q:
Let's ask him... Seb?

Sebastien Ogier:
A lot of people think we managed the gap, but we pushed the whole way. OK, maybe the last three stages I backed off a little - but we finished only with 10 seconds. It was definitely big pressure from Ott.

Ott Tanak:
Obviously it was not enough... For me, second place, I'm happy with this one. Most importantly we enjoyed and we take a lot of positives from here.

Q:
It didn't seem as if you let up the pace at all from the times on the board, was it flat out all the way or did you ease off at some point?

Ott Tanak:
I was going fast today, but no stupid mistakes today - I wanted second place. This was important for DMACK to finalise the result. I felt comfortable in the car. At the beginning of the rally, Seb had the benefit from his starting position and we had some from the tyres. All together I felt we had a strong package and to be competitive, that gave me a big boost. I felt confident.

Q:
You have already said you will be back next year, are you confident that we could see you challenging for wins across all events - do you feel you are at that level?

Ott Tanak:
That's the plan. Yeah, my second season is coming to an end and experience really counts in this sport. I start to be more consistent with less mistakes and keeping the speed up - this looks good for the future. The main thing is to have a strong car for next year, I'm sure we can be competitive.

Q:
Great times from you this weekend, how does it feel to be second?

Raigo Molder:
Today was really nice to see the times and listen to the radio for Seb's times. It's always nice to be fast and competitive - that's why we do it.

Q:
How much does this result maybe make up for Poland?

Raigo Molder:
Nothing makes up for that, except a win - but that win's not far away.

Q:
Third position for you here in Wales Thierry, how would you rate the weekend in terms of performance?

Thierry Neuville:
I was happy with everything, the weekend was really good for us. We saw it would be tough from shakedown if it got wet and slippery. From then on I was focused on the battle with Andreas [Mikkelsen], Hayden [Paddon] and Dani [Sordo]. We focused on that and that's what we did. All three cars were fully reliable this weekend, that was great and thanks to the team we could go at our speed. This shows another improvement for us, on some events we had some small problems.

Q:
There were some changes to the route this year, what did you think of those reversed stages?

Thierry Neuville:
I think I would have been closer to second [position] if the stages were run in the same direction. I had not such a nice feeling in the first one and I dropped 22 seconds to Seb - that's enormous. If we had been in the other direction in the fog, I think I would have had more confidence and I would have done better. I admit this was not a good stage for me, there were two [stages] like this. Otherwise the stages were nice, sometimes too slippery! The conditions were much different from last year, even though it was not raining I felt it was tough.

Q:
Nicolas, was this a busy one for you?

Nicolas Gilsoul:
Yes, but luckily the stages are not so long and the road sections are longer and this gives us more time to work and clean the notes on the recce. We had to work to prepare the notes to be well prepared for the fog and to find the right rhythm. This was difficult when it started to rain, then the drizzle and the fog all together. It was really challenging.

Q:
What's the objective in Australia?

Nicloas Gilsoul:
For sure it's very good to be second in the championship, but it's a bad gift because we'll be second on the road and that means a lot of road cleaning in Australia. That's part of the game and we are happy to fight for it.

Q:
Congratulations on the event win and sealing the manufacturers crown. A successful trip to Wales! Satisfied with the result?

Sven Smeets:
I have to say Friday started with a little bit of a scare: after four stages we had two cars with a problem. On stage three, Seb said he had a really bad noise from the transmission. We ask him to be gentle with the car, which he was and then he had a problem at the finish on the last [Friday] stage. This meant we were on the edge of our seats all the way through Saturday and Sunday... right up until we checked into Llandudno.

Q:
What can you tell us about the problem with the driveshafts?

Sven Smeets:
The parts are already on the way to Hannover. We have an idea, but we're not sure yet. We have to go to the bottom of this before Australia. We are sorry for Andreas [Mikkelsen] that he was not able to defend his second place in championship. For sure we prefer not to go to Australia with him 14 points behind - that's our big target this week.

Q:
It's been a good year, this fourth title has become your legacy...

Sven Smeets:
I said it before, it's not been easy this year. We had six different winners and Andreas only won Poland after Ott had problems. After that, we started to doubt ourselves. Germany came as a big relief and Seb has given us an amazing performance here again. I have to thank him, without him we would not be the manufacturer champion again. This went away for a while, but now we are very, very happy.