Drivers: Sebastien Ogier (Volkswagen Motorsport), Sebastien Loeb (Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Tea), Thierry Neuville (Qatar World Rally Team) and Jari-Matti Latvala, (Volkswagen Motorsport)

Press conference

Q:
Sebastien, your Championship victory could happen this weekend, almost certainly. How do you feel about it?

Sebastien Ogier:
Like you mention, our chances are bigger than ever. This weekend, it should happen but it's still a chance that not. So we still have to do a good job. Of course, I'm very pleased with this season, the first one with Volkswagen. We are very happy with what we have achieved. The car has performed very well and was reliable straight away from the beginning. It's almost a perfect season so far. I made a mistake in Germany so, now, I just want to enjoy the season. I feel quite relaxed. I don't feel so much pressure about the Championship. I just want to get pleasure in the car. That means be fast and fight for the win, otherwise I cannot get pleasure.

Q:
If Thierry Neuville doesn't score maximum points in the opening Power Stage, then the title will be yours. Do you feel nervous going into that Power Stage?

Sebastien Ogier:
Not really, I think I have a lot of pressure on the media side but, to be honest, I want to start well the race. I don't need absolutely to win this stage. It depends on this man (Thierry Neuville). If he can accept not to be first, then it's okay. I don't have extra pressure about it especially as it's a stage in the city where it's easy to make a stupid mistake. I will try to start with a good pace but, of course, it's not necessarily flat out to win it.

Q:
Sebastien Loeb returns this weekend, but Sordo was victorious on the last Tarmac event and Thierry was also was impressive - will it be a tough fight for the win this weekend?

Sebastien Ogier:
I'm happy you mention that because I'm sure those two guys will be there as well. I'm sure that the fight can be very exciting. Seb has missed few races but I'm sure he will come back immediately with a strong performance like he always did.

Q:
Welcome back to the WRC, Sebastien (Loeb). After many seasons in the Championship and nine World titles, one rally left for you in the WRC and it's your home event. How do you feel ahead of it?

Sebastien Loeb:
I feel okay. For sure, it's a nice story to finish my career here. That's why we decided with Citroen to finish here. Now, we are here. The feeling is okay. For sure, it's always a great atmosphere on this rally and it will be some emotion to be here for the last time but, on the other side, it's a long time I think that, one day, I will have to stop rallying. For me, I turned the page last year. This year, I just drive rallies like this to have fun and because we planned it with Citroen. The feeling is not bad. The recce was okay. I had a good feeling in the test with the car also so I just hope that we will find the rhythm quite quickly and that I will be in the fight.

Q:
How do your objectives differ for this final event to the normal Sebastien Loeb we are used to seeing?

Sebastien Loeb:
For sure, if I'm in a situation that I can win, I always try. That's the same story here. On another side, I'm not fighting for the Championship. Seb (Ogier) will be the champion this year. I don't need points. I'm just here for fun and to do my last race at home. If I'm not able to fight, it's not terrible, you know. I just take it like it is.

Q:
You won nine Championships but it looks, this weekend, the Championship will go to Sebastien Ogier. What have you thought about Ogier's performance this year?

Sebastien Loeb:
He did a great season. For sure, he deserves his title. He was the fastest all the time. He had a good team. They put everything together this year to be competitive and on the top immediately so there is nothing to say. He deserves to have his title this weekend.

Q:
And for you, new challenges awaits with the FIA World Touring Car Championship next year. How is the development of the car going?

Sebastien Loeb:
I tried this year to focus a little bit on racing, to do some races with McLaren, Porsche and some cars like this. Now, the real challenge is to improve the new WTCC Citroen car. It's exciting for me. I discover some new things, a new way of working. I will discover some new places and still have the same life, I would say, with competition, testing, racing, and still with Citroen. For me, it's a great opportunity to have a new challenge in the future. For sure, it can be difficult. It's very different to the rally. I will have some other world champions in front. I'm not able to say today if I will be able to fight for the first position in this Championship but that makes it exciting. I have to do my best and that's what I will try to do.

Q:
It's a brand new challenge. Does it make you feel young again?

Sebastien Loeb:
Here, I feel like the old driver who is just retiring. There, I feel like the young new driver who is arriving, so it's another feeling, yes. I feel a bit younger. I still look very young, no?

Q:
Thierry, great result in Germany a few weeks ago. We were all thrilled with the battle with Dani Sordo. How do you feel coming to France? Do you think, you will fight again at the top?

Thierry Neuville:
I think everything is possible. We have seen the car is very competitive on the tarmac. I feel comfortable. We did some very good tests so I will do my own race, keep focused again on Jari-Matti that he stays nicely behind me. Then, I will try to get the maximum points.

Q:
Your second position in the Championship overall has been very impressive this season. From Greece onwards, you have been on the podium at every single event. Did you imagine a year ago you would do so well this year?

Thierry Neuville:
Definitely not. We have seen last year, we struggle a little bit but I got a new team, a new car and, with all the experience I got last year with Sebastien in the same team, I learned a lot. I took it to my advantage this season. I learned from it. Nicolas and me have gone step by step forward, so far in the good direction.

Q:
In terms of strategy how will you play yourself into the rally?

Thierry Neuville:
Everybody knows Seb (Ogier) will be World Champion this year. It is for me no question. I don't want to leave our piece on a plate, so I will definitely try to get maximum points tonight. Even if Seb is asking, I will not slow down! I think about my Championship as well. Of course, I think he deserves the title. He has done very well. It shouldn't be too easy [for him]; it's easy but it shouldn't be too easy!

Q:
Let's talk about next year. Because you have had such a strong year, a lot of teams are talking to you about next year. Is that correct?

Thierry Neuville:
That's correct. Of course, I'm in a better position than I was last year. Last year, the winter was just horrible. Until the end of December I didn't know where I was going to drive or if I even continue in the World Championship. Now, a lot of things changed and it's looking much better for next year.

Q:
When will we have a decision from you? And what are you looking for in a team?

Thierry Neuville:
We still have some time. There are still two rallies to go. I want to see a bit clearer. Many things are not clear for me now. We have to wait a little bit. I know what I want for myself for the future. I will definitely not tell you today.

Q:
Jari-Matti, you did very well here last year. Will you use a different strategy looking at the Manufacturers' Championship?

Jari-Matti Latvala:
Yes, you're right. I like driving on tarmac and the Polo WRC is very good on tarmac. It's a bit different strategy this year compared to last year. Last year, I was here to try to challenge Loeb. It was a good rally. We finished second. This year, I need to consider the manufacturer points. It's so important for the team to win the manufacturers' title. If I can finish between P3 and P5, it will be okay. That would give us good points. That's the way it is now. Maybe, one day, I will fight again for the victory but not on this rally. But I want to be in a team that wins the Manufacturers' Championship. I never won it yet.

Q:
It has been your first year with Volkswagen Motorsport, looking back across the season what would be your assessment?

Jari-Matti Latvala:
Okay, there has been a victory but it was not what I expected. I was expecting at the beginning of the year for it to be difficult. Then, I had a very good springtime but unfortunately the second part of the season stared to be also difficult. It was not what I was planning. So, I will fight to be at the top again.

Q:
What is the biggest challenge in France? It seems that the rain is coming in...

Jari-Matti Latvala:
Normally, the stages are very nice. There are quite a lot of corners for us not to cut. The grip is good on the ground. The characteristics are nice with a very good flow on the stages. I think the main challenge is the rain and the amount of rain on Saturday can be very heavy. That can make it tough. Rain is the hardest job in this rally.

Q:
It is Sebastien Loeb's final WRC event. We have seen many battles with you and Seb, of course. How do you feel saying farewell to him?

Jari-Matti Latvala:
It's great to see him back, fighting in this event. I think it's a rally where he comes to enjoy. He won already nine championships. The best is to finish with a good feeling. That's the way it is to be. For sure, we had great battles with him in the past. Sometimes when I think back I should have done things a different way but I also learned a lot from him.

Q:
Back to Sebastien Ogier. We have seen you battling with Loeb as well. How do you feel about saying goodbye to the Champion Sebastien Loeb?

Sebastien Ogier:
It's difficult to say it in a few words. There is a lot to say. It will be anyway a lot of good memories even if everyone tries to remember always the fights and the difficult times we had. It was also something nice in the sport. We were excited with that. Whatever happens now, I will have always a lot of respect for him.

Questions from the floor
Q:
Sebastien, can you comment on the first victory of Dani Sordo in Germany?

Sebastien Loeb
I was happy for Dani, for sure. It was his first victory. He tried in the World Championship for so long time. He was always competitive on tarmac, never had the opportunity to win. For him, for his confidence, for his career, it's nice to see him taking his first victory. I was very happy for Dani. Hopefully, he didn't take too much confidence because, here, it's the same kind of roads! We'll see; it can be a good fight.

Q:
Are you happy also because, once, he had to slow down in Spain to allow you to score more points for the World Championship?

Sebastien Loeb:
I think you're not completely right. He didn't have to slow down. He accepted because he knew that it will not be possible. You can ask him. He deserved a victory on tarmac and it was a very tight fight. He deserved it and now he has it, so I was very happy for him.

Q:
Will this rally be your very last event or will you do some more events, like Carlos Sainz did?

Sebastien Loeb
The plan is not to come back. I think, especially in this sport, the rhythm and the experience are very important. If you go off the rhythm, for sure, you lose something. In Argentina, I felt it at the start. Here, I don't know how it will be. If I retire for six months or one year and come back, for sure, it will be impossible. The plan is not to do this. The plan was more to find another challenge, what we have done now with Citroen. I hope I will not come back.

Q:
Sebastien Ogier, you will be champion today or on Sunday, or maybe in Spain. Do you regret it was not against the other Seb?

Sebastien Ogier:
I think I cannot regret it. It's not depending on me. We just have to accept we have 10 years difference. He has done a long time in this sport and he wanted to get a new challenge. I'm sure that it would have been very interesting for the sport. I'm sure the fight would have been very tough but we will never know. Definitely, I have no regret about it. It's just something I don't control. Last year, I had to take another direction and start a new story with Volkswagen. That costs me one year without racing at the top. This year, we come back with a good car and a strong team. Seb is not here anymore: what can we do? It was interesting to fight with him for the few races he did. That's it.

Q:
What do you wish him for this last rally? Did you prepare a gift for him?!

Sebastien Ogier:
Let's say, I cannot wish him to beat me, for sure. As we saw during the recce, he will have a great support from many spectators. I think he really deserves it. It must be difficult to leave but, in the same time, it must be great to see all these people came here for him.