Drivers: Sebastien Ogier (Volkswagen Motorsport), Andreas Mikkelsen (Volkswagen Motorsport II), Ott Tanak (DMACK World Rally Team) and Hayden Paddon (Hyundai Motorsport).

Press conference

Q:
Let's start with the Volkswagen pair, there was big news coming after Rally GB. How do you both feel?

Sebastien Ogier:
Of course it was not the news we were hoping for, I don't think anybody in the WRC community was happy about this. It's always sad when a team is leaving, especially a team like Volkswagen which has invested a lot in the sport. It's difficult for the timing as well - the time is running to find a solution for next year. It's a special weekend for us to deal with this emotion. I don't think so much it's the last time, but Sunday night will be emotional with all this success behind us. I want to keep thinking positive and to think about the success we achieved, but we have some work to be ready for next year.

Andreas Mikkelsen:
It's the same as what Seb said, really. It was really devastating news. We heard some rumours in GB, but there are always rumours at that time of the year. But when it was confirmed, it came as a big shock. It's really close to the end of the year, Monte Carlo is not far away and we all need to find where the future belongs. The situation is definitely not easy. But now there's full focus on one more rally, all the rest will come out in the next couple of weeks.

Q:
What's the next chapter for Sebastien Ogier?

Sebastien Ogier:
It's no secret that I have been having some talks with a couple of teams, the next step is to work harder on it with them and have a bit more clue about what the plan is for the future. I like to judge before I sign with anybody and also to try the car - it's important to have some feeling for which car I could drive next year.

Q:
Can you talk us through the next steps, does your contract with Volkswagen end after this rally so you can work on it immediately?

Sebastien Ogier:
I hope this is to be agreed. We have what you say is a gentlemen's agreement that I can work on my future. I hope, when I go back to Europe, very quickly I can work on this new project because there are only a couple of weeks before Monte Carlo.

Q:
When will you know what your future holds?

Sebastien Ogier:
I would wish to know as soon as possible, so we can work. We are already late to be in the optimal condition for Monte Carlo. I hope to make my decision soon. There are a couple of teams willing to work with me, but I cannot say the situation is comfortable, but at least I have more options in my hand.

Q:
What's the ideal scenario, what's going to tempt you to a team?

Sebastien Ogier:
You know more or less, pretty much my personality and I am always looking for competition and being competitive. A competitive team and car is what I want so I can have the car and continue what we have done for some years.

Q:
It must be an emotional time in the team, how's the feeling among everybody?

Andreas Mikkelsen:
The feeling is generally good in the team. We all want to do the best result and finish in style. It is emotional when you come in and see the look in the mechanics' eyes, something is different in this rally compared to normal. It will be emotional on Sunday when we start the cars for the last time. It's so sad, this is such a great team and we have had so much success, to see that come to an end is so sad and everybody feels that.

Q:
You still have a championship battle to secure second place - does this mean you'll be flat out from the start?

Andreas Mikkelsen:
Pretty much, Thierry [Neuville] is 14 points ahead and we have a tough job to win the rally and start where we are on the road. We'll have a big fight and do what we can, then we'll see on Sunday afternoon. It's going to be an interesting rally, hopefully one with a good end.

Q:
What's the plan for you after this event, have you got lots of meetings lined up?

Andreas Mikkelsen:
I'm lucky to have good management and they are dealing with this situation as good as they can. It's late in season and a lot of seats have been taken, but it's the same story for me and Jari-Matti [Latvala]: we have to see what Seb does and see what's left.

Q:
Hayden, you've been looking forward to this event for many months, now it's here are you feeling the pressure?

Hayden Paddon:
No not at all. I'm more relaxed this year. Last year I came with a lot more pressure, now I'm chilling out and just looking forward to a good rally.

Q:
What's possible on this rally?

Hayden Paddon:
I want to be competitive and try to fight for the podium. On the first pass, I think we know there's going to be some benefit in our road position and that will come into play: we will have the advantage, so on the first pass we have to have a bit of an attack. We're all out wanting to be as competitive as we can and to do the best job we can do.

Q:
What differences are we likely to see running later in the year?

Hayden Paddon:
It might be a bit warmer in the car this year! The roads are a lot harder and we'll have to see how that affects tyre wear, I'm sure tyre management is going to come into play. It will be dry and dusty, the conditions will be similar to usual here.

Q:
What was your reaction to the Volkswagen news?

Hayden Paddon:
Shocked. Like everybody, when I first saw the rumours online, I thought they were just rumours, but then when they were confirmed I was shocked. It's sad, nobody wants to see it; Volkswagen has been the benchmark, they have made us all push harder. But I'm sure the sport will keep growing and the three drivers will end up in teams and the close competition will continue.

Q:
Do you have the fire to win this rally?

Hayden Paddon:
I'm going to drive as fast as I can. There's been a bit of a flat spot in the second half of the year, it's not been exactly where I wanted to be. So I'll push as hard as I can and see where the result is.

Q:
Ott, the driver market has just got considerably bigger, does this have any implications for your deal next season?

Ott Tanak:
Obviously the late drama has changed a lot and it's playing some cards. It will be quite interesting to see what happens in the next couple of weeks. I think we should still be OK.

Q:
We've seen some very strong performances from you on gravel this year, will we see another big battle between you and the Volkswagens?

Ott Tanak:
That's the plan. It's no problem to go flat out. Everybody is trying to give a big push on the last event of the year and there are some fast and nice roads. Road cleaning will be a big part and we will have a benefit, we'll try to use it.

Q:
There are some long stages here and the temperatures will be higher than last season, how will your tyres last? Have you tested in similar conditions?

Ott Tanak:
Actually, we didn't do a test in Australia, but I think they're as black and as round as the other ones: they should be OK.

Q:
How much do you want to round the season off with a win?

Ott Tanak:
Yeah, for sure. It's the last event of the year and we had a really good run in Wales - me and Raigo [Molder, co-driver] got a good feeling from there. As I said, we have a good position on the road and we got a good feeling from shakedown this morning. We're looking forward to what we can do out there.