Q: Jost, it’s second position for Sebastien Ogier at the end of a difficult day. How are you feeling and is the fight for the win over?
JC: “It was a very hard day for us and I think Seb was fighting quite hard. Finally he’s in second and the gap to Sebastien Loeb is quite big, so I think he’ll be driving very much for the championship tomorrow and to get the points. But it will be a rough day so I don’t think there will be a safe drive. The speed will be so high that everything can still happen.”
Q: Was it pressure on Sebastien Ogier that forced his mistake today?
JC: “No, I don’t think it was the pressure on him. I think he was driving at his own speed. But the conditions here were new for him and the car. We’ve never had this sort of heavy rain overnight and muddy and slippery roads. We haven’t seen this in testing. But this happened, the car didn’t react in the way he wanted it to react and then he went off. Then he did some more mistakes, and lost more time than he actually had to lose. So, as I said, we are on a learning curve, so we still make mistakes.”
Q: There’s still a great battle ahead for Jari-Matti Latvala who is just eight seconds off third place. How much will you allow him to push?
JC: “I think he will put up a good fight for the podium tomorrow. As I said, I expect it will be very rough, and a lot of things can happen but he’s definitely up for the fight.”
Q: Yves, Sebastien Loeb is leading the rally by 39 seconds, do you feel confident going into the final day?
YM: “For sure we are in a better position than yesterday, but tomorrow will be a long and difficult day - with four rough stages without any service. I cannot say I’m really confident, but of course I’m happy to be in this position.”
Q: At one point today it was a Citroen one-two with Mikko Hirvonen in second. But Hirvonen later hit problems. What happened to his car on stage nine?
YM: “He had some electrical problem. At the moment we don’t know exactly what happened, but it seems it’s due to a lot of water inside the car. For sure the car stopped a few times in the stage and we have to see tonight what the problem is.”
Q: Malcolm, Evgeny Novikov is third tonight but Jost says they’re going to let Latvala go after him tomorrow. Can Novikov hold him off?
MW: “I think we’ll stick with our game plan, which is for our boys to have a sensible day. They’ve had no issues, which is why we’ve been lucky to get onto the podium. We realise that Jari-Matti is going to push, so we’ll just see what happens. As Jost said, tomorrow’s stages are very difficult. Evgeny and Thierry will just continue at the pace they’ve been going at so far.”
Q: Four stages left, what advice will you give to your drivers?
MW: “Much the same. Mads will keep pushing, not that he can really gain any places, but everybody’s seen the improvement in his speed this year, so we will encourage him to continue to push. He needs to get experience to drive at the pace of the two Sebastiens so that hopefully in the remaining events we’re in a strong position to challenge.”