Olivier Quesnel (Citroen Total WRT).
A win here in New Zealand extends your lead in the Drivers' Championship and Citroën's advantage in the Manufacturers' Championship. But what a dramatic final day!
Yes. I think more drama for some others than me. For us it was an incredible finish. In the morning I was in a good position to fight for the win, so I try hard from the start. I made a mistake, did a spin and dropped 10 seconds. I tried even harder in the next stage, but could do nothing about Mikko, he was faster than me. At service I tried to do more and change some settings. In the second loop I was trying to beat Jari-Matti (Latvala), I couldn't fight with Mikko. Then Jari-Matti went off the road and I thought maybe Mikko will be under pressure. I thought then that I have to try. Finally, he had a puncture and we won.
It wasn't the best of starts this morning, with an uncharacteristic mistake on the opening stage. What happened?
It's not a question of pressure. I tried a bit too hard in one place. I was a bit surprised, I lost control of the car, I was too much sideways and I couldn't bring it back.
What was your mindset going into the penultimate stage? Would you push or settle?
I was pushing hard. I tried to put the pressure on. I know I cannot be 15 seconds faster. I tried. You know in this situation, it's not easy to be leading with 15 seconds. It's a long stage and you are being pushed hard from behind. You think to some things and there are things in your mind. I tried hard. I could do it this time.
Did you think at any point today you might not get on the podium as the other three, including your team-mate Dani Sordo, were pushing so hard?
Yeah. I didn't want to think about that. At one point, I thought: “Maybe Mikko can win.” He was going to win and I could finish fourth, but I tried everything I could not to do it. I wanted to finish second to lose only two points.
The tactics played by Citroën and Ford have made this event interesting in giving us four drivers fighting for the lead on the final day. How much do you think you really benefited today?
I don't know. I don't know if it was the right tactic. Maybe I couldn't win. It was not so big difference today. Yeah, yesterday we thought that's the best way to win. The problem is that people are only talking about the tactics, that's not good for the rally. Maybe it's important to find another regulation, to have some good fights and not only talk tactics and road cleaning. For people who are not real rally fans it's difficult to understand why it is always a question of tactics. I don't think it's a good way. The regulation, for me, last year was really good. It was tough for the Championship leader on day one, then it was really close and interesting for the next two days.
On Friday you were late into stage six. We could see you on the aerial footage, how did you start the car?
You know when you try to push, you can have technical problems and it's not easy. Now it's okay because it was the first day, if it was yesterday and today it could have been different. But, I want to talk about the regulation. This is completely wrong; I prefer the fight with Marcus (Grönholm) last year, when we lost by 0.3 second. With Mikko today, we drive fast and he drive fast yesterday when he was first on the road. I prefer to fight for three days rather than have strategy and this s**t. I would rather that everybody was looking and waiting for the fight, but now we all know it's two days of nothing – on Thursday and Saturday night we can go to the discotheque and have the party. We have to change this.
Now we move to asphalt rallies, you must be looking forward to those.