Sébastien Ogier (leader – Citroën C3 WRC)
Tell me about your day Sébastien?
It’s been another tricky day, especially the first stage both times through. They were tricky and changeable conditions. We needed to stay with the studs – at least the tyres has been a bit more straightforward today. But still I am happy to be here sitting in the middle, even if we didn’t increase the gap much. Tomorrow will be another intense day.
There are some legendary stages tomorrow – what do you know about conditions?
I don’t know much yet, we will have our gravel crew tomorrow morning. It should be mainly dry, but it will be cold icy and frosty on the top – there will be places to make a difference… and a mistake! We both want to win, everybody wants win Monte Carlo, it’s a magical rally we all enjoy a lot. We have made a big difference from the rest and we both want to cross the finish line. Second could be good for the championship, but I’m pretty sure Thierry will push to the end and we will do the same.
If you won tomorrow, you would join Walter Rohrl as a driver winning this event with four manufacturers and it would be Citroen’s 100th win – does that add pressure?
Those statistics are very nice, but that’s not what you have in mind when you are driving. Of course it would be great to do that, to take six wins in row and seven in Monte Carlo. I always say if I have a bad season and I can win only one rally then it would be this one – this is why I try tomorrow. I will fight tomorrow.
Thierry Neuville (2nd at 4″3 – Hyundai i20 WRC)
Thierry, what’s the plan tomorrow?
Obviously first of all we had a great day today, it was really enjoyable in the car and we really tried to catch Seb, but it’s always difficult when we are on the same tyres on stages which we know. All in all, it’s been a good day. We look forward to tomorrow, the plan is to catch Seb and to keep the pressure, but also we must think about the championship. We have to think about this.
Thinking about the championship, does that mean the little extra risk not there?
I always try to drive without risks. Of course there are risks, but I try to be on the safe side. When we are in a fight, like in Sardinia last year you try to push a little harder. Tomorrow we have some demanding stages, we don’t know about the conditions and we have to do four stages on the same tyres.
What was the gap going into the final day in Sardinia last year?
It was 4.3! No… it was 2.8 or something. A little bit less.
Sébastien Loeb (3rd at 1’58″7 – Hyundai i20 WRC)
Sebastien, you have battled hard today, but you have two drivers chasing you hard for third…
Yes, for sure. I was struggling a little bit with my set-up. I couldn’t get the confidence from the understeer in the morning, especially with the tricky conditions in the stage. But in the afternoon I was able to get my confidence and I could push harder. I have Jari-Matti just two seconds behind and [Ott] Tanak closing the gap with every stage, so I don’t know what I will be able to do tomorrow. We are not in the fight for the win, but for the podium. I will try to find a good rhythm to stay on the podium.
And how do you feel physically?
I am always motivated, for sure the motivation is a bit different – I’m not here to win the championship, but I am here to help Hyundai take some points. I always want to fight for the victory if I can, that’s not the case here. It was a tough month of January with a lot of driving, but I enjoy driving and it’s a long time since I was here at the start in Monte Carlo. I always enjoy the incredible atmosphere on this rally.