Drivers / co-drivers: Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Motorsport), Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Motorsport), and Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Floene (Volkswagen Motorsport).

Team principal: Jost Capito (Volkswagen Motorsport).

Press conference

Q:
Congratulations to you all and congratulations to Volkswagen for a great 1-2-3 here. S?b, your 30th WRC win, the 30th win for the Polo R WRC as well, and the wrongs have been righted now in Germany for Volkswagen. A great victory, a great 1-2-3. How are you feeling at the end of it?

Sebastien Ogier:
Really good. We all feel just fantastic; after all the trouble happening here in the last years, it is finally really nice to see all of us on the podium today. It is really great for Volkswagen. They offer us so much, this fantastic car, fantastic team owners. You speak about the 30th victory, it is like 23 or so with the Polo in the last three years, or two and a half, which is really amazing. Speaking about this week, the rally was really incredible for me. I had a really good feeling in the car, I had great fun. It was nice to do the Rallye Deutschland in dry conditions, that is not happening so often here, but I think that made the rally even better. Every crew enjoyed this rally.

Q:
The rain held off until after the rally. A special victory for the team, but also a great victory for yourself. We have seen you in a great battle with Jari-Matti over the opening two days. It was yesterday, though, especially on the Panzerplatte stage, where you rubber-stamped your authority on the event. That final stage yesterday was something special from you.

Sebastien Ogier:
Yes it was something special. Definitely, Panzerplatte is always a big key of the Rallye Deutschland. Most of the time differences there are big. We managed to increase a lot of our gap there and, after that, the end of the rally was more relaxed. But since some time now, Jari-Matti and Miikka have proved that they are really fast on tarmac. For me, it was a bit of time that I was not in a condition to really push on tarmac. The last time that I really tried was last year here, and I crashed two times, so I knew that I had to prepare this one a little bit differently. I think I told you before the start that I was really motivated to win, to correct the mistake from the past. I had a good feeling. It was inside me, I knew it was going to be good. The test was very successful and the Polo was very nice to drive. But a good feeling is not always giving you the best results. For me, that was the case this time. The best result I could get was victory here. Of course, rally drivers and other competitors are egoistic, we think a lot about ourselves and our interests, but this week, this victory, I really wanted to get it for my team after everything they gave me. I really wanted to give them back this and what everyone was wishing for, I am really proud of all of them. That's for you, all the guys at Volkswagen!

Q:
You talked about the extra motivation before the event. We saw some extra celebration at the end of the Power Stage: you were hanging out of the car as you were driving to the stop line, lots of throwing about in the air. It seemed to be a very heartfelt win.

Sebastien Ogier:
Yes, it was, this one was really enjoyable for me. It is the 30th already. This number is flying. I don't really see the time passing by, but this number is increasing all the time. I am very happy, but this one is really special. Of course, for the team, the target number one is the championship, the manufacturers' and drivers' championship, but I think that the next target for this year really was to win Rally Germany. We promised it to our big boss at the end of last year and we kept our promise, so that is great. Just one thing to confirm that I am not a liar when I said that, really, today, I don't care about the Power Stage, really, today, I promise you, I just wanted to finish this rally. It would have been stupid to take too many risks to break this fantastic 1-2-3, especially as we wanted it so much for the team.

Q:
We are going to the next event now and at that event, you can seal the title. It was a long shot here, but it is not so much of a long shot in Australia now.

Sebastien Ogier:
Yes, it has become more and more realistic now. I didn't calculate exactly, but now I have a real chance to get it. I have the cards in my hand to secure it in Australia, and why not? It is a rally I really love. I love the atmosphere there, it is something very different. We are feeling more intimate, all together, because there are less people coming. I like the special atmosphere, the roads are also very nice, so first, let's enjoy this one, celebrate for this one, and then let's go for Australia.

Q.
Some great words from S?b about what it means to take the win, not just for yourself, but for the team. Does it feel the same for you?

Julien Ingrassia:
Yes, of course. We promised our big boss and not only our big boss, but the whole team that we would bring them their victory. All the three crews here were at the same level to say: we will do our best to make you happy, so it was a special feeling. But, you know, Rally Germany hurts. If you see S?b's eyes, you can see that it is still true this year. He got the cork of the champagne in his face. Last year, it hurt a lot and it was funny to see the medical staff and the nurses who helped us last year at the start of the stage, so we said: not anymore this year.

Q:
Did you feel any nerves before you started Rally Germany? Were you extra motivated, did you prepare any differently coming into this event, knowing that it meant so much to get a good result, or did you just keep things as normal?

Julien Ingrassia:
We knew that Rally Germany, a little bit like Monte Carlo, can be very, very tough. On tarmac, the smallest mistake can mean the end of your rally. I came on this rally 100 percent, but no extra motivation, because then you perhaps push a little bit too much. We knew that we were able to stay on the road and be fast. Then, we had to do it as well as we can and we did it throughout the week. The first morning we started with not taking too many risks and we increased the rhythm step by step. S?b didn't make any mistakes and we can be proud of this victory.

Q:
Before we talk about the rally itself Jari-Matti, let's talk about that final stage, because you gave us a few heart flatters when we were watching the footage. It was quite a run through the final stage. What were you trying to prove?

Jari-Matti Latvala
Somebody needs to keep the show going on!

Q:
Well, you definitely did that, that is for sure. You were targeting maximum points, obviously, and you got them, but with a little scare on the way.

Jari-Matti Latvala:
Yes, okay, to be honest, it was something that shouldn't have happened, but it did happen. We were a little bit lucky. It was only a little slice with the concrete. The target when I went out there in the stage... Last year, I crashed on this stage. I wanted to keep the focus on, I wanted to do a good run and I wanted to have good memories from this stage, so the idea was to go with a good rhythm. The rhythm was really, really good. There was just this one left-hand corner. I had in my notes that there was a line, I followed the line, but there was some big gravel that got under the car and it moved the position of the car, it surprised me and we ran wide. It is one of those things; I think that also in our engineers' truck we were keeping some really hard moments for Jost and the other people. Well, it happened, it's part of the game.

Q:
Jost mentioned his blood pressure the other night! Were you not listening to him when he said that?

Jari-Matti Latvala:
I was taking it easy the second to last stage.

Q:
Let's talk about the weekend in general then, because you were super competitive out there. We saw you lead the rally briefly, it was great to watch the battle between you and S?b, and then he started to pull away from you. At what point did you think: I can't catch him now?

Jari-Matti Latvala:
To be honest, S?b's performance both times at Panzerplatte was really incredible. Normally, Panzerplatte has been a very good stage for me, but this year I didn't get the feeling, I didn't get the confidence to do the brakings until the apex of the corners and then use the whole width of the road that you have. Second time through I realised that there is no chance. I knew from the beginning of the weekend that what I did here last year, and 2013, I can't afford a mistake anymore. I think I tried to be in the comfort zone all the time, that I can keep the control in the driving. Of course, we had that moment on the Power Stage, but we didn't do any mistakes over the week, and that was the target, to have a solid, good performance and I am happy with that.

Q:
It means a lot to the team to have a 1-2-3 Miikka. What does it mean to you guys to be part of that?

Miikka Anttila:
Sure, it is a great honour for us to fulfil this dream of the whole team. We are really pleased that we were able to deliver this result. I think, Jari-Matti and myself, we are both super happy to be second in this rally.

Q:
It's been a great result, a great performance. Did you feel today that you had to try and calm him down a little bit, especially when we saw these fastest times coming through, or was he in control?

Miikka Anttila:
No, actually, today, it was really relaxed driving, such driving that could have been there for the whole week. Definitely, S?b and Julien, they were quicker this week, but as I said, I am super happy with second position.

Q:
How are you feeling heading back to Australia now and heading back to gravel?

Miikka Anttila:
Australia, it's always a special event, a nice rally. Like S?b said, it has a nice feeling other rallies are not having. It is always a challenge to go to down under.

Q:
We saw you third on the podium here last year Andreas. Back into third position again this year, but way more on the pace this time round. Are you pleased with the result?

Andreas Mikkelsen:
Yes, I am very, very happy. If you compare my performance from this year to last year, it is quite a huge improvement. I was on the podium last year, but with a lot of luck and with others' misfortune. I think the performance this year really has been good. Obviously, we were trying to run at a good pace at the beginning of the rally. When Kris Meeke went off, I found myself in third position with quite a gap to the guys behind me, and S?b and Jari were pushing each other very hard. So, basically, I made sure that I tried to defend third place as well as I could without taking any risks, because trying to catch the time that they had already gained from me would mean a lot of risk. After that, in one way, it has been a rally that was not so interesting for me, because, basically, I was fighting myself, until this morning, where on the first stage Dani pulled two seconds. Then, on the next stage, I relaxed too much and he gained 11 seconds, so he was only 13 seconds behind, so I decided at the service that I was going to push a bit to gain some time back, which I managed. Then, it was pretty much settled, so I made it through the Power Stage to secure a 1-2-3. It's been a great weekend, a little bit boring to have nobody to really fight with, but I am sure that will change in Australia.

Q:
So, with no one to fight, like you said, not taking any risks, pretty much a safe drive then, no moments?

Andreas Mikkelsen:
We have been driving very safely all weekend, never been on the limit, so in that way it has been a very successful rally, but I want to be up there fighting with the main guys. For me, this rally, I would have needed to take a lot of risk to catch what I had already lost when fighting with Meeke, so then I thought it was probably better to secure a 1-2-3 instead of risking everything and probably make a mistake.

Q:
We are heading to Australia next. You have told me that that is one of the events you are targeting to get a good event. I am sure you will be fighting up against the guys then. What are you going to do next to get yourself in the mode for Australia?

Andreas Mikkelsen:
Well, we do the normal preparation as all the time. Next weekend, I go to Germany in the Alps to run a three-day event, to run with Salomon, which is a sponsor of the team. Three days of running in the Alps will be really tough and should get me into shape before Australia.

Q:
Do you feel like you have a good shot at maybe the win there, Andreas?

Andreas Mikkelsen:
Yes, I do believe that we are contenders there for the win. You have seen our performance in 2013 and 2014. It just got better and better and last year we were really competitive, so I do believe that we have the chance in Australia to fight for victory if we have a good rally.

Q:
What does it mean to you to be part of it all now Ola? It is an exciting 1-2-3 from Volkswagen, give us some excitement!

Ola Floene:
I have no word for it. I think I have to see it myself on TV and then I realise it. We did a good job and we are always concentrated to do everything correctly. I see a lot of people around me who feel that this is exciting, but I think I have to see it on TV or in the newspaper to understand it, but to be honest, I am proud to be here.

Q:
Well, it is a great result for the team, but as Andreas said, it has been a safe drive out there this weekend, there haven't really been any battles, but Australia will change all that.

Ola Floene:
Especially this morning, I was thinking of that. It was so early and I was so tired and I was looking forward to the long flight. So that was my first thought about Australia. This Rally Germany was a long and tough rally. Especially to keep the concentration level for three days, they were quite hot and long days, but it was exciting.

Q:
Jost, since Volkswagen have come into the championship, you have wanted to come here to your home event, in Germany, and take the win. It has eluded you for the past two years, but this time, you have done it in style with a 1-2-3. Now, you have won every single event on the championship calendar. It must be a good feeling, coming here and getting it completely right.

Jost Capito:
Yes, as you said, the Rally Germany is our home rally and the home rally for Volkswagen and the team. We couldn't win it so far, so the pressure was quite high for everybody to come here for the third time and show what we are capable off. Everybody in the team did a perfect job throughout the rally from recce until now and it shows that the team can get even stronger under pressure. It was last year, when we didn't have a good result in Germany, apart from Andreas who got on the podium and was very successful, but then in Australia, we had our first 1-2-3, so we came back under pressure. This year also shows that we had a big pressure to deliver here on results and coming with a 1-2-3, which was perfect, and the first seven stages we had 1-2-3 on the stage times, which made us believe that we had the performance, the reliability, the car, the drivers and the team to win this rally. It was a very hard rally to win and everybody in the team can be very proud of this.

Q:
We have seen the representatives from Volkswagen around the service area today, welcoming the team. What has been the reaction from everyone around the team to this win at home?

Jost Capito:
I think everybody is very happy. Normally, you say everything happens three times. We have to sleep over this to really realise what has happened as it was a perfect rally.

Q:
Were you at all nervous today? Because it has been the final day that has thrown up a few surprises in the last few years. Did you have any concerns at all throughout the day? Final stage, Jari-Matti, on a bit of gravel, near a roll? Were you worried?

Jost Capito:
Luckily, the TV programme is a couple of seconds delayed, so when we saw it on TV, we saw it on the screen still green [moving], so we were relaxed.

Q:
The team has a great chance now to seal possibly both championships when we head to Australia in a few weeks' time, which is still early on to seal things up. How are feeling about that?

Jost Capito:
The one thing we have achieved here is that only a Volkswagen driver can win the drivers' championship. We didn't have team orders so far, but now it really can be a free fight with no team orders for the rest of the rallies and I think that will add some more excitement. It would be great to seal both titles in Australia, but we are really excited to see the fights within the team.

Q:
Are you looking forward to the rest of the season in terms of fighting? Jari-Matti?

Jari-Matti Latvala:
Yes, absolutely, and I think - in this team - not so many other teams could keep the possibility for the drivers to fight like this, so what we all can do. It is a great position where we are.

Sebastien Ogier:
But Jost, I don't know if we still have so much more to deliver, after Finland and this here, I think the fight was pretty intense already!

Q:
No, the fights can't get much more great, can they?

Jost Capito:
No, I think the fights were really great. We didn't have team orders and the guys utilised it and they were fighting against each other, and that continues now definitely until the end of the season. I strongly believe that the team benefits from not giving team orders, because when all the drivers can fight, it makes the team better. I am absolutely convinced that if you lose one or the other rally because you don't do team orders, you look stupid, but I strongly believe that overall, at the end of the season, the team has more points with no team orders.

Q:
It can get one better, Andreas can get his first win to round off the season, but no pressure!

 

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