Rally Deutschland: Post-event press conference

Sébastien Loeb -- Citroën Daniel Elena -- Citroën François Duval -- Ford Stephan Prevot -- Ford Carlos Sainz -- Citroën Marc Marti -- Citroën Q: Congratulations on your third Rallye Deutschland victory. Were these the most difficult ...

Sébastien Loeb -- Citroën
Daniel Elena -- Citroën
François Duval -- Ford
Stephan Prevot -- Ford
Carlos Sainz -- Citroën
Marc Marti -- Citroën

Q: Congratulations on your third Rallye Deutschland victory. Were these the most difficult conditions you have ever encountered here ?

Sébastien Loeb: I think this year we had the most difficult conditions. Especially the first stage in the morning of the second day was very hard to stay on the road. There was a lot of aquaplaning, water on the road.

Q: How many times did you risk going off on that first stage?

SL: Maybe at one out of every two corners.

Q: What did you think about the gravel notes provided by the organisers here?

SL: I think the gravel crew has done a good job, but it is not the same as having your own gravel crew, with which you can discuss what you want etc. It is better than nothing. Here, it was possible with the roadbooks that had squares at every 500 metres, but with the books you have on some rallies, divided into sections of 15 km, it wouldn't have been useful.

Q: What are your expectations for the Rally Japan? You did the recce there last year. Is that an advantage for you?

SL: We have some idea of what the stages will be like, but they will have changed a lot of things. I will have to do the notes like anybody else.

Q: The Olympics are currently on. Do you think rallying should be an Olympic sport ?

SL: I don't know. Why not? But I don't see it at the moment. If it would mean that we could only go every four years, then it is not a good idea.

Q: As well as being a co-driver, you were also a driver here, taking the Xsara WRC back to final service. What did you think of it?

Daniel Elena: Just for the Super-Specials I would like to be a driver. For the rest, it is just incredible for me.

Q: What do you think about the organisation of this event in general ?

DE: Generally all right, but the safety issue is something very important that needs to be negotiated.

Q: Congratulations on equalling your best result. You put on a massive charge on the final leg. Did you think you could catch Seb ?

François Duval: Yes, it would have been possible, had it not been for the notional time after Petter's accident.

Q: What are your thoughts about Japan? You tend to go well on new events, like Mexico this year ?

FD: I don't know exactly what the roads are like, but I did well in Mexico. The car is perfect, the mapping as well, so it is possible to finish inside the top five.

Q: Stéphane, you were quite shocked at the damage done to the co-driver's side of Petter's Subaru. Is there anything that can be done to improve co-driver safety ?

Stéphane Prévot: I have to say that we have nearly been penalised in Monte Carlo when we didn't slow down enough at a yellow flag where nothing had happened, whereas here, they sent us away, knowing that an accident had happened, and there weren't even any yellow flags. That is not acceptable. Of course, we were shocked, we didn't drive that well in the stage. Maybe a yellow light operated by the clerk of the course would be an option.

Q: How useful did you find the gravel notes provided by the organisers here ?

Carlos Sainz: It is a long story. For sure, having some information is better than nothing. But it doesn't matter if you have notes by the organisers or yourself if a storm is coming up eight minutes before you start. For me, the worst thing of not having gravel notes is the second time through the stages when it is wet. Then you need them more. But it also depends on the weather. Things can change quickly. For me, the most difficult thing is to make a tyre choice four hours before you are going to drive a stage, especially here. That is something to think about.

Q: A few drivers have said that the Rallye Deutschlan is too dangerous, using the accidents that happened to Gilles Panizzi and Petter Solberg as examples. Do you agree ?

CS: I came here two years ago and found the rally very difficult. I never liked it that much. It is very fast, very narrow. You have to go at high speeds and have to cut some bends. You have to choose the tyres long before the stage you do, which makes it even more difficult. Add to that the stones at Baumholder, where you can hurt the car and yourself. Every rally is dangerous. But I think that is a part of motorsport as well.

Q: Marc, what do you think about the safety issue?

Marc Marti: Of course, the most important is to do something quickly when anybody needs help. It can be precious time when you need a helicopter or an ambulance.

Q: Can we say that the championship has been won for Citroën alreay?

Guy Fréquelin: No, it is too early to say this. There are still six rallies to go. For sure, we are in a good position, but in a mechanical sport, it is difficult to say. You can easily encounter problems. We have to remain constant and be careful.

Q: Does this result make you optimistic for the two other asphalt rallies in Corsica and Catalunya?

CF: Yes it does, but we have also some gravel rallies to come. This rally probably is the most difficult asphalt rally, as the roads this year were very slippery. For sure, we will have some difficulties as well with the upcoming asphalt and gravel rallies when the weather is like this.

Q: To Sebastien Loeb: Would it be better to have gravel notes back or to have two spare wet tyres in the car, like in Greece?

SL: It is also dangerous when you drive with two wet tyres and two slicks, so that isn't the best solution.

GF: I want to add something: what Stéphane said is certainly true, but it is not easy for the organisation to do a job in such difficult circumstances. Maybe we should work together with the FIA to find good regulations to ensure safety.

FIA Production Cars World Rally Championship Press Conference

Xavier Pons, Mitsubishi
Oriol Julia/b> - co-driver

Q: You had a big battle with Gigi Galli. Did you enjoy it ?

XP: It was a great fight. We had a little bit of luck when Galli went off.

Q: Michelin vs Pirelli, did the tyre battle have a big effect ?

XP: Our Michelin tyres worked very well. It is difficult to chose the right tyre for every condition, but I think we did well.

Q: What is it like to switch back and forth from a JWRC car to a PWRC car ?

XP: The cars are very different. We have to change the chip very much, but I started my career in production cars, so that is the better one for me.

Q: How do you see your chances in the championship?

XP: This year, we try to learn a lot, to gain experience at every rally.

Q: What do you expect for the future together with Xavier ?

OJ: We try to do as many rallies as possible. For the rest, we will have to wait and see.

Q: How difficult was the rally according to you ?

OJ: We don't have the tyre problem, as we are only allowed to use 13 tyres during the entire rally, but still, it is difficult to decide which tyre is the best.


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Series WRC
Teams Citroën World Rally Team