FIA press release
1st - Sébastien Ogier, Citroën Total World Rally Team
1st - Julien Ingrassia, Citroën Total World Rally Team
2nd - Sébastien Loeb, Citroën Total World Rally Team
2nd - Daniel Elena, Citroën Total World Rally Team
3rd - Dani Sordo, MINI WRC Team
3rd - Carlos del Barrio, MINI WRC Team
Olivier Quesnel, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Q: Sébastien, congratulations on your first win in Germany! You were disappointed to miss out on the win in Finland; does this victaory make up for that?
SO: It is a nice feeling, of course. I am happy to score here in Germany, it wasn’t really on my list at the start of the season. Things change quickly in rallying. In some events, I lost some points due to stupid mistakes, but here, I came good.
Q: What was your feeling this morning when you were going out to compete?
SO: I drove cautiously. After all, this is Germany and we all know that here it is easy to get a puncture. I just had to drive in the middle of the road and try to cross the line this time, not like in Argentina. Since the start of the season, we have always had a perfect car. We knew it was good on gravel, but to win now on Tarmac as well is great.
Q: Citroën is now the manufacturer with the highest number of WRC wins. What do you think of that?
SO: It is very good for the team. We will try to continue this series until the end of the season. For myself, it was good to get my first win on Tarmac. With a normal fight, I would probably not have won this rally, as Sébastien is always very strong in Germany, but I am working in the right direction.
How important is this win for your chance to battle for the title?
With a normal fight, I would probably not have won this rally, as Sébastien is always very strong in Germany, but I am working in the right direction.
SO: It is good, for sure. We are still quite far away from Séb, who still has a very comfortable lead, but with four rallies to go, there is still a mathematical chance, and as long as the chance is there, we will keep fighting.
Q: Julien, how are you feeling about achieving win number five this weekend?
JI: I am feeling very well. It is always amazing to go to Tarmac, it is a new feeling: braking, acceleration and everything. It is good to see that we did better than last year in this event and for France and Spain, we will continue to improve.
Q: Do you expect any more wins on Tarmac?
JI: On the first day, we already had a very good rhythm and we weren’t too far from Séb and Daniel. For the remaining Tarmac events, I hope that we will be able to follow them again.
Q: Seb, we are used to seeing you here in the middle of the podium, but finally your run of wins here has come to end! How are you feeling about the result?
SL: I was used to better results here in Germany, but every year I am coming here, I know that I don’t have to win because I have won in previous years. That is the way it is. I tried to score as many points as possible and I have done quite well in that respect.
Q: It was a puncture yesterday on the final stage that dropped you back behind Ogier, how did it happen?
SL: I didn’t hit anything. There was a right-hander, a hairpin to the left and then 200 metres straight on. There were some stones on the road there and in the next corner I felt that I had a puncture, so I suppose this was caused by the stones.
Q: Apart from the puncture, we saw a brand-new Michelin tyre for this weekend. What is your opinion about that?
SL: The performance of the tyres is very good. It is not easy to make a good tyre with the regulations we have. From a safety perspective, it would be good to have a proper rain tyre. We saw a lot of punctures here. It is a bit a question of luck, which is a point that I don’t like so much, but you have to count with it here.
Q: Citroën is now the most successful manufacturer in the WRC, and you have played a big role in that. What do you think about it?
SL: It definitely means a lot. I am very proud to have been a big part of this work we have done together. It shows that the team is very strong. We have always had a car that was able to win. I am very happy for them.
Q: Daniel, it has been a great year for Citroën so far.
DE: Absolutely. We saw the first win with the new WRC regulations for Ford in Sweden, but then all the wins were for Citroën, both on Tarmac and on gravel. That is really not bad!
Q: Now that Séb has announced that he will be staying in the WRC for another two years, will you be staying alongside him?
DE: Yes, for sure.
Q: Dani, congratulations on your first podium in the MINI WRC! Did you think before the event began that you would achieve a result like this?
DS: No, honestly not. We knew the car was good in testing on Tarmac, but not enough to be on the podium. It was difficult to expect the podium, but in the end I have achieved this result and the result is the most important.
Q: How important is this result for the team?
DS: I think that with this result, the people from MINI and Prodrive are even more motivated; people are probably working even harder for the next rally. For myself it is really good to finish on the podium in only the third rally with this new car.
Q: How did you find the car this weekend? How much of an improvement has there been since Sardinia and how much development is still possible?
DS: We still can do many things at the moment. The balance of the car is really good, but on the engine side, we can still do a little bit better. We are working hard on that.
Q: Do you think we will see the MINI on the podium at other events this year?
DS: I hope so, why not?
Q: We have seen you on the podium many times, but now with a different manufacturer. How does that feel?
DS: Yes, it is different, I am wearing different overalls and I have a different car. I have always been on the podium here in Germany, but now I have a different car. I am very happy with this result.
Q: Carlos, congratulations on your first-ever WRC podium result! How are you feeling at the end of it all?
CB: I am very happy, especially for the guys in the team who are putting in a lot of work to get this result. There are still many improvements to be made. Dani’s performance is great, he has been driving very well.
Q: Were you surprised with a podium finish in the first Tarmac event with this car?
CB: At the beginning of the week I would have been happy with a top five result. This is even better. Some strange things happened over the weekend. We were pushing hard from the very first stage and it worked out.
Q: Olivier, Citroën is now the most successful manufacturer in the WRC. It is getting better and better, isn’t it?
OQ: Yes, this is the 10th time we have won the German rally. Now we have got 78 WRC wins, which means we are now ahead of Ford, and today we have achieved a one-two, so it is fair to say that this is a great day for Citroën.
There were tensions yesterday because of the team orders that were issued. How did the team cope with that and why did you decide to impose the team orders so soon?
Now we have got 78 WRC wins, which means we are now ahead of Ford
OQ: On Friday night, we were one and two. Both cars were really close, but the team in third place was quite far off. We decided for the team order because we didn’t want to put our result at risk. On Saturday, we had to drive on the Panzerplatte two times, and that is a stage that is very difficult for punctures. My main objective is to win both titles, so that is why we made the decision.
Q: Were the team orders not seen in any way as unfair?
OQ: Most of all, we work for Citroën. If there was a battle on Saturday, we could have put our result at risk. Fighting for both titles we didn’t want that, so we decided this way. If I have to do it again, I will do it again.
FIA SUPER 2000 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
1st – Ott Tänak
1st – Kuldar Sikk
Q: Ott, congratulations on your second win of the season so far! You don’t have a huge amount of experience on Tarmac so are you surprised to take a win here?
OT: It was tough to be here against Hänninen and Prokop. On Friday it was quite difficult to find the right rhythm, then it went better all the time.
Did you have any problems?
For sure, it is one of the toughest Tarmac rallies. It is quite tricky in places, the main thing is not to make any mistakes.
OT: No, the car was working very well. For sure, it is one of the toughest Tarmac rallies. It is quite tricky in places, the main thing is not to make any mistakes.
Q: Did you encounter stages with full rain?
OT: This morning we did, otherwise not. It is difficult with sunshine in the Service Park and rain on the stages.
Q: Again you take victory with a huge winning margin, how soon did you go into ‘safety’ mode?
OT: It was difficult, you have to think about the title, but at the same time you want a good result here as well. This means that on one hand you have to drive a little bit safer to make sure you stay on the road, but you also have to get the right speed. Finding that balance is not easy.
Q: This result puts you second in the SWRC with two rounds remaining. How are you feeling about your chances?
OT: I think we still have two Tarmac rallies. I would be more confident when they were gravel rallies. But when we have a good start in France and then continue our performance like we did here, it will be OK.
Q: What kind of preparations will you do for your next rally in France?
OT: I don’t know. First wash my car, that is what we need to do! And we need to get faster.
Q: How difficult was the preparation for this event?
KS: It is always difficult to make good pace notes in the recce and to predict how much drivers will cut corners. This is one of the toughest Tarmac events.
Q: How dirty was it on the road? Was it like a gravel rally sometimes?
KS: No, it wasn’t like a gravel rally, but at the end of the corners there sometimes was dirt, so that we had to slide and hope that we could stay on the road. It was not as bad as it was in France last year.