Sebastien Loeb [Citroen]:

"The conditions were harder than last year, but the fight was easier. Everything went well and the Xsara once again showed its true class.

"I have a special feeling for this event. It gave me some disillusions two years ago, but since then, it has gone really well. This rally is legendary, and to win it for a second time gets our season off to the best start possible."

Markko Martin [Ford]:

"It's been an incredibly tough rally. We've had snow, ice and fog, and these Monte-type conditions are quite new to me so to finish second is much more than I expected. This weekend has been playing on my nerves for a long time. I was close to leading on Friday but, on Saturday morning, I lost so much time in the fog. Perhaps I need to eat more carrots! I set out to get second place back, and managed to do so, but I've been counting down the stages and I'm glad it's over. It's a great start to the season for Ford, but now we've got to keep this up for the rest of the year."

Francois Duval [Ford]:

"I'm really happy to start the year on the podium. Markko was very fast over the Turini stage on both occasions, and I prefer to be third than risk everything and crash. I've enjoyed this weekend a lot, taken no risks and made no mistakes. The conditions have been tough, especially on the Turini today, but I like that. My car has been perfect all rally and two cars in the top three, on one of the hardest rallies of the season, is a great way to start the year."

Marcus Gronholm [Peugeot]:

"I'm glad it's all over! I've always found the changing weather conditions of this event very difficult, so fourth place is not a bad result at all. Maybe we could have been higher up if we had not slid off the road yesterday, and lost 40 seconds, but I can't complain about anything else. The most important thing is that the new 307 WRC has been both fast and reliable, so I feel very positive about the rest of the season."

Freddy Loix [Peugeot]:

"We decided to take the safest possible option, as I had a big gap in front of me and behind me. It turned out that snow tyres were the wrong option, but you can never tell what will happen in Monte Carlo. I'm happy to get to the finish with some points after my first rally in the 307 WRC. I've learnt a lot and I think I am improving all the time."

Gilles Panizzi [Mitsubishi]:

"I am very happy. We did not make a lot of testing and of course we are all completely surprised we have not had more problems the first time the car has run in these conditions. To finish and score points is very good. I am confident with the team and the car, and this is the start of a new chapter in my motorsport career; I have found a good team."

Petter Solberg [Subaru]:

"What can I say? I just hit a patch of snow, braked a little too late and slid into a wall. It's a shame as I wasn't really driving to risk anything, but these things just happen sometimes. Perhaps I was a little unlucky, but at least we didn't drop out of the points altogether. Luckily, we're taking two points away this year, which is two more than last year! Overall, it's not such a bad result especially when you consider that there are fifteen more rallies still to go."

Notable retirements:

Gianluigi Galli [Mitsubishi]: [retired in SS5 - went off the road]

"We slid and the car ended up half off the road. Then it slipped another couple of metres and it was impossible to get back; there was hardly any damage and mechanically it was fine, which makes it all the more disappointing. We took it steady this morning so I was surprised with our time in stage three, but I felt very confident with the car, even though the conditions were very difficult."

Mikko Hirvonen [Subaru]: [retired in SS9 - spun and damaged car]

"It's a real mystery. I was going steadily to get experience of the rally, and wasn't pushing hard at all. I can understand slipping off the road when conditions are difficult, but I went off on one of the easiest corners of the rally. It was slow speed, second or third gear, and a totally dry road. Maybe I heard the pace note the wrong way, I'm not sure, it's just unbelievable. Of course I'm disappointed, but I suppose you have to accept that from time to time these things just happen in rallying. I'm going to study the on-board film to see if that provides any answers, then it's a case of moving on and trying for a better result in Sweden."

Carlos Sainz [Citroen]: [retired in SS9 - spun and damaged car]

"At the start of the climb up to the Bleine Pass, the road was just damp. There was snow on the sides of the road, and I suppose that the spectators had spread it over the road as they went by. I came across a brown patch, half snow, half mud, which was not in my pacenotes. I went straight, and hit the wall. The front right wheel was too badly damaged to allow me to continue."

Team Principals:

Guy Frequelin [Citroen Sport - team principal]:

"Sebastien started off on Friday morning, watching the pace set by his rivals, taking care not to make any mistakes. He increased the pace in the evening, to take the lead. Saturday he pushed hard, set the fastest time in every stage, most notably in the fog, and built up a good margin. Today, he managed his lead safely, with almost clockwork consistency. He has the perfect feel for such a difficult event. It is no surprise that he has done so well here over the last three years. The way it goes I'm convinced he's able to beat Tommi Makinen's wins record here of four consecutive victories."

Claude Satinet [Citroen - director general]::

"I am happy and proud by what Sebastien and our team have achieved here. To win in Monte Carlo is the very best way to start off the season. This rally has an added, symbolic, value and is excellent for Citroen to win, both for the image of our brand, and for the motivation of all those who work for it."

Malcolm Wilson [Ford Rallye Sport - team director]:

"It's a great start to the season for Ford to lead the championship. The Monte Carlo Rally is the most classic event in the series. Markko had a difficult rally, but he pulled through and second was a good result for him. Fran?ois had a fantastic event. He delivered an impeccable performance throughout and I'm confident he will win a world rally soon."

Corrado Provera [Peugeot Sport - team principal]:

"For the first time, we are leaving Monte Carlo with a smile on our faces. We started with two cars and both have come back to us in a good points-scoring position. The new car is fast and we have a good platform to work from. Marcus could have been better placed had he not gone off yesterday, but he did very well considering that this is a rally he has never liked. Freddy dropped some time on the opening day, but the time he lost on the final day with snow tyres was our fault. Nonetheless, if he can bring us some more points finishes as he has done today, then we are happy, as consistency is important to win the title."

David Lapworth [Subaru World Rally Team - team principal]:

"Monte Carlo has certainly lived up to its difficult and specialist reputation. It's a shame that after such a well-paced performance on Friday and Saturday Petter was caught out this afternoon. But, these things happen and we can take some consolation from the fact that he's got some points in the bag. Mechanically, both cars were trouble free all rally, and the pace that Petter showed with his stage win on SS13 highlighted the tarmac developments that have been made in conjunction with Pirelli."

Sven Quandt [Mitsubishi - head of motorsport]:

"To have scored points like this, when the car is still so new and we also have new drivers, is quite exceptional; we are delighted with the team success in our first event back in the World Rally Championship. Last weekend we won the Dakar Rally and today we have made a successful return to the WRC. Points have been a great bonus. These results demonstrate Mitsubishi's commitment to motorsport."

Mario Fornaris [Mitsubishi - technical director]:

"The target was to finish the rally and get more kilometres on the car; we did that and achieved it successfully with good reliability."

 

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