WRC » 29 September 2006
Q&A: Marc van Dalen - EXCLUSIVE.
by Rob Wilkins.
Sebastien Loeb's mountain bike injury this week was a bitter blow for Kronos Citroen, especially in light of just how tight the battle is for the constructors' championship. Crash.net Radio spoke exclusively to Kronos team boss, Marc van Dalen on Thursday about Seb's accident and who might be brought in to replace the Frenchman while he is out injured...
Marc, Kronos have done tremendously well this season, just how big a blow is Sebastien's mountain bike accident especially as you are now keen to win the constructors' title?
Marc van Dalen:
It is a really tough situation for us because like you know the battle for the manufacturers' championship is very close, so we have lost the very best driver we had this year - and everybody knows the level of Sebastien. Anyway we have to deal with it - we are fully behind him, we are supporting him and we have called to tell him that we are going to try and help as much as we can - so what can we do other than that?
We have to think about the best option and the best solution for us for the future now. We don't know yet how much time he needs to be ready again - it can be one rally he will miss, it can be two, it can be three, we don't know yet. And nobody can know it exactly at the moment.
Can you update us on how Sebastien is doing?
He is still very tired from being in the hospital and he had an operation yesterday [Wednesday] morning. So it is time for him to sleep and to rest and to let us do the best we can to help him.
When did you hear about the accident?
Just yesterday [Wednesday] morning he called me to explain the situation, so it was very bad news for everybody in the team. We were are all shocked but we have told him we are fully behind him. If somebody in the team has some problems or troubles, it is like we have - we are all together in this team when we win and when we lose and when we have some problems. We are a big family so everybody was very shocked yesterday.
Related to that and I realise it is still early days, can you give us any ideas on who is under consideration to replace Sebastien while he is out injured?
There are different options for us. In any case it will never be the best option, because it is impossible to have the best option as it is impossible to replace Sebastien - you know the level where he is. We take our time to think about different drivers who would be ready to replace him and there are three, four, five names. We think about the pros and cons for every driver. I think it is better to take some time to have a really good think about it and to be sure the choice that we are going to make will be the best one. In any case, it will never be the best one, because it is impossible to replace Seb. So that is why the situation is difficult and it is not easy to decide.
Any idea when we might hear who is going to be brought in?
[Long pause] I mean there are around four to five drivers and it is difficult to tell you exactly which one [we might go for]. Honesty we are considering different drivers', we try to make the right decision even if it is never right, like I said before. The only objective we have is to try and put a little pressure on Marcus [Gronholm] at the next rally, otherwise he is going to win it easily, which is not what we want. So we will see over the next few days.
Changing the subject slightly, to the season as a whole, you must be very proud of how the team has done?
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