Rally Deutschland: Post-event press conference

Present: 1st - Sebastien Loeb, Citroen Total World Rally Team 1st - Daniel Elena, Citroen Total World Rally Team 2nd - Dani Sordo, Citroen Total World Rally Team 2nd - Marc Marti, Citroen Total World Rally Team 3rd - Francois Duval, Stobart VK...


1st - Sebastien Loeb, Citroen Total World Rally Team
1st - Daniel Elena, Citroen Total World Rally Team
2nd - Dani Sordo, Citroen Total World Rally Team
2nd - Marc Marti, Citroen Total World Rally Team
3rd - Francois Duval, Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team
3rd - Patrick Pivato, Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team
Olivier Quesnel, Team Principal, Citroen Total World Rally Team

Welcome to the post event FIA press conference.

Q: A seventh consecutive win here in Germany for you Seb, which means you now take the lead in the Drivers' Championship. You also equal Marcus Gronholm's record of seven wins at an event. You made it look easy this weekend; was it the easiest win of the six you have had previously?

SL: This question comes back every time. It is difficult to tell. It is true that it went well from the very beginning. Fortunately, we didn't have too much rain, which made it a little bit easier. I found my rhythm quite quickly and early on, I took some risks. It was a battle throughout the weekend anyway.

Q: Was there any point during the weekend where you felt pressure from any other driver?

DE: The pressure is always there. When you arrive here as the favourites, it is not easy, because everyone expects a good result from you. But when you start the first stage, you forget everything and you just go for it.

Q: A Citroen one-two here bodes well for the other Tarmac events this season, and of course the Manufacturers Championship.

SL: This is the best position for the rest of the season. New Zealand will be difficult as there is always a lot of gravel on the road there. We saw what happened in Turkey and that could happen in New Zealand as well. But I am happy to be in the lead of the Championship, we are four points clear so that is good.

Q: The organisers have changed the route slightly this year, with not so many of the military stages. Has it been a good route this year in comparison with other years?

DE: It is not really different, because the new stage was the opposite direction from last year, so you know the places where it can be slippery etc. At Baumholder, the stages are familiar.

Q: A great result for you this weekend, equalling your best result so far this year in Jordan. Are you pleased with your performance this weekend?

DS: I am happy, of course. It is very good for the Manufacturers' and the Drivers' Championships. I was very fast, I didn't make a mistake and one-two for Citroen is very good.

Q: You were in quite a battle with Mikko yesterday -- were you taking many risks to increase your lead?

DS: I lost time the first day with Mikko, who did well on the first day. The second day I made some changes and the feeling of the car was very good. I had a good second day and the fight with Mikko was easier.

Q: We saw the Pirelli PZeros in both soft and hard compounds this weekend. How did the tyres perform?

MM: We are happy with the tyres, because we didn't have any puncture. They are strong. Of course, we still have some questions in terms of performance, but we need to test and improve and we need an approval from the FIA to cut the tyres.

Q: We have seen Dani develop on gravel this season; your first win together on either Tarmac or gravel can't be far away now?

MM: We don't need to stress, Dani is 25 years old. We are learning a lot this year, we are doing a good job for the team. Okay, we want to win, but there is no pressure.

Q: This is your first WRC event in seven months and you have got on the podium. Are you happy with third?

FD: It is a fantastic result for me, but it has been difficult all weekend. The final result is good, but if I progress in testing it is much better. On the first and second day, the car was very difficult to drive.

Q: Were you fast straight away or did it take you some time?

PP: Indeed, we needed some time, because we have been out of WRC competition for a long time. I have been out for nine months, but after a couple of stages, it was okay.

Q: With Gigi Galli's accident that means there is a spare seat within the Stobart team -- have you been asked to fill it for New Zealand?

FD: I haven't been asked at the moment, but the last time I did New Zealand was 2005 with Citroen, so it will be a difficult decision for Malcolm (Wilson). Maybe it would be easier to pick a quick driver like Marcus Gronholm, but of course, I would very much like to do it.

Q: Do you think Francois could do a good job New Zealand?

PP: Yes, absolutely. It would be a good experience for the years to come. He is very quick on Tarmac as well on gravel, and I will be glad to accompany him.

Q: Olivier, it's been a great weekend for the team taking the lead in both Championships. What is the plan for the rest of the season?

OQ: The plan is quite clear: be first in New Zealand and try to win all the rallies that are coming. Maybe even be first and second like here. We want to win the Manufacturers' Championship.

Q: This is the first real asphalt rally with a great result for Citroen finishing first and second. Do you expect it to be the same in Catalunya and Corsica?

OQ: I hope so, but I can't tell you. We will try to do our best and we will see.

Q: What, according to you, is the reason that Sebastien has been so successful here?

OQ: Maybe you should ask him rather than me. Sebastien knows exactly what he has to do here.

Questions from the floor

Marcus Stier (Rallye - Das Magazin, Germany)

Q: Next year, we won't have any Rallye Deutschland. Will you miss Rallye Deutschland next year?

FD: The roads here are similar to those we have in Belgium, so I might drive in Belgium if I am missing this rally.


1st - Sebastien Ogier
1st - Julien Ingrassia

Q: Your third win of the season, extending your lead in the Drivers Championship. It's been a great event for you.

SO: Yes, for sure it was a very good week for us. We kept the lead of the Championship and now we need to finish in Catalunya.

Q: It was a good battle between you and Martin Prokop. Were you on the maximum to catch him?

JI: It was a good battle, we enjoyed it. On Saturday morning, we showed that we could be faster than him and we would have liked him to finish. Anyway, it was a good fight.

Q: When he retired there was a big gap behind you so you didn't need to push. Was it difficult to find a rhythm when you didn't have to fight?

SO: At the start of the rally, it was a good battle with Martin which I would have liked to continue, but he had a problem. After he had that problem, it was easier for us. We didn't take any risks after that.

Q: What do you have to do in Spain to clinch the title?

JI: We know that we have to win there to win the title, but it won't be easy as all the drivers will be there.

Q: There have been a lot of obvious comparisons between you and Sebastien Loeb -- it must feel good to be compared to a World Champion?

SO: I like it, because to be compared to the Champion is an honour for me, but I have to continue working and learn at every rally. In the future, I hope to have the same success, but it will be difficult as Sebastien is a great driver.

-credit: fia

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About this article
Series WRC
Teams Citroën World Rally Team , M-Sport