Sebastien, have you been able to relax a little in the five weeks since your last rally?
When I see how little time I've spent at home, I don't feel like I've had any holidays! Between the different test sessions, promotion work, a quick trip to the Le Mans 24 Hours and a GT race in France, I haven't really had time to relax. And last weekend we were in Sofia to put on a road show for the Bulgarians. But as I hate doing nothing, it's probably just as well! I feel absolutely ready to tackle the second part of the season.
Since your retirement due to mechanical failure in the 2004 Spanish rally, you haven't been beaten in 100 per cent asphalt rallies. So do you reckon that the result of Rally Bulgaria is a foregone conclusion?
It would be a huge mistake to think like that! It's true that asphalt is our favourite hunting ground, but we have to tackle this rally in a humble state of mind. We're going to discover a new route which will certainly have its own specific character. We'll have to cope with the weather as stages at 2000 metres above sea level can be upset by storms, and also there's the choice between the Pirelli P-Zero softs and hards. As always when I start a rally my aim is victory. Even if it's sometimes necessary, I don't like pussy footing just to ensure a place finish if I know that I can win.
Are you happy about the fact that the end of the season is mainly on asphalt?
It's all the more pleasant as last season we only raced in one true asphalt event! This year's calendar is better balanced and I'm delighted that Rally Germany is back on it again. There's also Rally France, which is going to be one of the high points of the season. We recently had a test session in the Vosges and I was amazed by the number of fans who turned up. I don't even dare imagine what the ambience will be like in the rally in Alsace!