Team bosses reflect on opening day of Monte
Matton, Wilson and Capito answer the big questions
Q: Yves, at the end of day 1, Sebastien Loeb is in the lead. It’s probably the final time we are going to see him compete in Rallye Monte Carlo as part of a works team. How do you feel the day has gone for Citroen?
Yves Matton (Citroen Total Abu Dhabi): It has been very good for us, with a lead of 1min 20sec. Seb is leading and it was a good day for him. We also have cars in third and fourth and I think it’s a good start to this difficult rally.
Q. There have been some difficult conditions today, but what is the weather forecast for tomorrow and what can we expect to see from Mikko Hirvonen and Dani Sordo?
Yves Matton: The weather, it seems, will be colder and colder and it will not be easy for tyre choice. What do we expect? We are in first, third and fourth and the final aim is to have two cars on the podium. We made a good start and we will see what will happen.
Q. The first WRC round for Volkswagen Motorsport with the Polo, the first stage and it’s a win for Sebastien Ogier. That must have felt good after two years of working towards this goal?
Jost Capito (Volkswagen Motorsport): It felt really good. Coming with the new car and the new team to the first rally and then having the chance, the opportunity or the luck to win the first stage is absolutely extraordinary and lots of pressure fell off us. We showed that our pace is not too far off and we expect quite a good season.
Q. Sebastien Ogier has been driving for the team through last season but Jari-Matti Latvala is new to the team this year. What did you think of his performance today?
Jost Capito: Jari-Matti did exactly what we asked him to do. To finish the rally is the most important thing for us, and of course he has much less experience of the Polo R WRC than Sebastien. It was obvious to see the time differences and also to see that on the later stages Jari-Matti caught up. Unfortunately he had a puncture in the last stage which cost time but we’re very happy with the performance of them both.
Q: There isn’t a Ford at the moment in the top three. Can there be by this time tomorrow?
Malcolm Wilson (Qatar M-Sport): I think it’s possible if you look what has happened today. There has been a lot of drama. Sadly, we lost Thierry Neuville in the last stage which is a disappointment. But, apart from Loeb who has a big lead, the other guys are not so far apart and if you look at the time differences today then anything is possible.
Q: Conditions have been really tricky today. Is there more snow forecast and are you concerned about the allocation of snow tyres?
Malcolm Wilson: I think we are all concerned about the allocation if there is more snow. It is looking as if it’s going to get colder and colder. We are all scratching our heads about how we are going to make the tyres last the distance.
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