WRC » 1 January 1901
Post-event press conference - Argentina.
Drivers / co-drivers: Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena (Citroen Total WRT), Chris Atkinson and Stephane Prevot (Subaru WRT), Dani Sordo and Marc Marti (Citroen Total WRT).
Team principal: Olivier Quesnel (Citroën Total WRT).
Congratulations Sébastien on your fourth consecutive win in Argentina. Would you say this has been the toughest Rally Argentina you have ever competed on?
Yes, the toughest conditions for sure. It was very difficult to stay on the road in some stages. It was incredible conditions but okay the first day the Fords started really fast, especially Mikko (Hirvonen). I think he had an advantage to be first on the road on the first stage, he had a big gap and then finally he went off the road. We had after that a good lead and we just had to keep a good pace and not make a mistake and keep the position.
On the opening stage Mikko Hirvonen blitzed the competition, setting a time 40 seconds quicker than you. What did you think of that at the time? Were you concerned that your chance of a win was in jeopardy?
Yes, what can you do? The time was there and it was nothing to do but to try to catch him. It's like this, I don't know, but his time on the first stage was pretty impressive.
And how have the tyres performed this weekend; a hard compound in these conditions was always going to be difficult. What are your thoughts?
I think the tyres we have are really good. There were no punctures here, the tyres were very strong. In Mexico it was the same, but to do Greece in summer when it's 40 degrees and to do Argentina today with the conditions we had with the same tyre it's impossible. That's what I say; it's not a question of the tyre. The tyre is good but is not adapted to the conditions we had and that's because of the regulations. I think we should find a compromise on that. Okay, last year we had five different compounds to use in different situations, now we only have one, and last year we could cut and now we can't do anything. Okay we accept to drive this hard tyre, even when it's wet it's not so bad, but maybe if we could have a cut it could be much safer. And if it's the same for everybody it's not an advantage for anyone and it's for that, for the safety we ask.
This morning we had two difficult stages before the super special, and we lost three or four WRC cars on those stages. What was your approach this morning and were you aware that even with those three stages left it still wasn't over?
The time actually is very good but okay you lose a lot of time in the last stage in El Condor, a lot of mud, foggy and slippery and as Sébastien said with the tyres, it's not good for these conditions and okay not normal. If you have technical problems in the stage you lose a lot of points for the manufacturers. This rule is wrong for the moment. Well it's a rule, but you have to push for safety conditions. You have no choice. If it is raining you put a soft compound with a little cut, just for safety.
Congratulations on second position, your third podium in four events. It's been a great start to the year.
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