19 Aug 08
How do you rate Francois Duval's rally
I think he did a good job. I was really impressed. He lost some time on the first day but after such a long time out of the car that's normal. Like last year he started well by doing the best time at shakedown. You know, we spend all season in the car and he just gets in after seven months and sets the best time! It's impressive and I think down to a natural talent. After that he needed a bit of time on the first day, maybe to trust his notes - and you can understand that - but on Sunday he was really fast. And that's just how he is. I've had some big fights with him in Germany before so I know he can be very fast.
That said, do you still reckon your team-mate Dani Sordo will be your biggest challenger on the remaining asphalt rallies?
I think so, but Duval could be a threat too. For sure Dani is very good on this surface and when we get to his home rally in Spain I think he will try very hard. But I'm not underestimating Francois. He'll be back in Corsica and Catalunya, and he's more familiar with the car now, so who knows.
This was the first rally with Pirelli's hard and soft compound tyres. How were they?
We had no problems at all. We only used the hard compound twice all weekend; on the Baumholder sections. For all the other stages we were on the soft compound and that was fine. The soft has a really wide operating range across different conditions while the hard was especially good on the roads in Baumholder. On Sunday it was perhaps better to go with the hard in the afternoon, when we'd chosen soft, but there was absolutely no problem. The only thing that is not good in my opinion is the regulation about the rain - and the fact that we can't cut the tyre to cope with lots of water. Okay, on this occasion we had no rain, so it was no problem, but if it's raining, for me we don't have enough and it could be dangerous. Every motorsport has one tyre for the rain, but at the moment we don't.