Q: Malcolm, the end of day one and Thierry Neuville is leading. How would you sum it up?
MW: “It’s been a great drive by him but also a great performance from the entire team. Everyone played a part. We’ve had really good weather information - the best we’ve ever had - so we’re very happy about that. But of course when you’ve got somebody like Thierry as well, and the way he’s been driving, that’s a big help.”
Q: There’s heavy rain forecast for tomorrow and a chasing pack behind. Can Thierry keep them at bay?
MW: “Without question there’s a lot of pressure on him to be in this position. What we don’t want is so much rain that there is standing water on the road. If we get that, then he will pay a price for running first on the road. If it’s just wet, then it’s the same for everybody. The only difference is that he hasn’t been in this position before. But if you look at his pace today I’m pretty confident he can keep it together tomorrow.”
Q: How does it feel for the team to be leading a tarmac rally?
MW: “It’s a great feeling. I don’t think I’ve been in this position many times this year – if at all. It’s nice to be back at the top of the leaderboard.”
Q: Yves, Dani took his maiden WRC win only a few weeks ago, what have you made of his performance today?
YM: “For sure he did a great job. Since the beginning of the weekend he’s been really confident and has only one aim: to try to win. I don’t think we helped him this afternoon with a tyre choice that wasn’t the best, but he’s only 10 seconds from the lead and I think he’s able to try to reach first place.”
Q: Is Dani free to fight for the win here?
YM: “What we want to achieve is to have two cars on the podium and to try to win. For sure Dani is free to try and take the lead tomorrow.”
Q: We saw stage wins from Sebastien Loeb this morning, but not this afternoon. What happened?
YM: “This morning for sure he was very fast and he started his rally in very good conditions. This afternoon we had very good weather information but we didn’t use it. I think we were little bit too safe. But with the tyres he had he did a very good second loop.”
Q: Jost, great scenes last night when Sebastien and Julien won the title. How were the celebrations?
JC: “Of course we celebrated a bit, but we finished early because we know there are three tough days to go. The boys got to bed early, but Sebastien said he couldn’t really fall sleep – he kept waking up wondering if he was dreaming. So he wasn’t at his pace today.”
Q: With the time lost already do you think it’s possible for him to come back and push for a win?
JC: “I think he wants to try and come back and push for the win. He knows he had a very bad day today and I think the emotions were so big for him yesterday that he needed a day to get over it. I’m sure he will be back on his pace tomorrow.”
Q: How impressed have you been with Jari-Matti today?
JC: “Jari-Matti is not driving here for the win, he’s driving for manufacturers’ points and he’s taking it conservatively. Considering that, his performance today is even more impressive. He did a fantastic job today.”
Q: If Jari-Matti has sight of a win, would you let him go for it?
JC: “We will see. The next two days will be very difficult - especially tomorrow. So we have to be careful. I think we’ll see where we are tomorrow night and we’ll take it from there.”