26 Sep 08
And what about Jari-Matti Latvala behind you?
He's very fast on gravel and tarmac, but especially on gravel. He's certainly a threat, but he makes mistakes too and that's what is keeping him in fifth.
You were Junior champion in 2005, what do you think of the J-WRC competition this year?
It's a different type of competition now because of the variety of cars which can compete. So there are cars like the Clio R3 up against the Citroen C2 and because of this the stage times can vary quite a lot. But the series is still good fun and you only have to look at someone like Urmo Aava to see that if you're fast in Juniors, you might be quick in WRC too. Other drivers that stand out for me are Sebastien Ogier who has been very fast this year and Kris Meeke when he was in the competition.
Early in your career you built a reputation as a tarmac specialist, but your two best results this year have been on gravel (Jordan 2nd, Argentina 3rd), do you consider yourself an all-rounder now?
Before I got much WRC experience I was certainly better on tarmac, but that's normal because I began with the Spanish championship and it was an all tarmac series. I won the Spanish Championship and that meant I got more experience and was more familiar with it. But now I have more experience on gravel, I have learned a lot and I'm still learning. Yes, I still like tarmac rallying, but my level on gravel is getting better and better.
You must be looking forward to the asphalt rallies this year. Which of the three is your favourite?
I think Catalunya or Corsica. Catalunya because it's in my home country of Spain, and Corsica because I think it's the most challenging and important tarmac rally. I enjoy driving on both of them; the stages are very nice. Germany is not bad, but there is so much variety in the stages, and I prefer the consistent character of the ones in Corsica or Catalunya.
How important is it for you to win a WRC rally?
Obviously it's important, but it's not easy! Sebastien is a hard man for anybody to beat on gravel and tarmac is even more difficult because it's his speciality. For the team, me winning a rally is not the most important thing, and they are not putting me under pressure. But personally I want to win and I think this year I will.
Loeb's first win with the WRC Citroen came on his eighth rally with it, Germany will be your 42nd - how tough is it to motivate yourself lining up against someone like that?
Of course sometimes it's very hard to work with Sebastien because for me he's the best driver ever and he's fast on all surfaces. But there are benefits too. We work together at tests so I am able to learn from him. Sure, when your team-mate is doing so well it's sometimes hard for the motivation, but it's just like that. He's a hard man to beat but I will keep trying. I'm a competitive person, so it's in my nature to keep fighting.