23 May 08
Your pace on SS13, the first of day three, was incredible. How did you manage it?
I just went absolutely as fast as I could. I was on the limit but I managed to hold it together. I was quite confident that with a similar road position to Jari-Matti I was going to be faster. I knew I could beat him. It was a little bit similar to Jordan on Sunday; when I'm close, and in a proper fight, I know I can go at least as fast as Jari-Matti.
Six rallies in and you're leading the drivers championship. Is this year going to plan?
It's been going well, yes, but I have to say I'm not happy about Argentina and Mexico. Those ones were really bad. Okay, Argentina started well but then I hit a rock and we had a problem but still, there is room to improve. Especially, as I saw in Sardinia, I need to be a lot better on Fridays if I'm driving as first or second car on the road. If I can't be any faster in that situation then for sure Sebastien is going to take a big lead again and I won't have enough time to catch him. So yes, there's room or improvement. But generally, looking at the season, I'm leading after six rallies so it's definitely a bit better than I'd expected.
What can you do to improve your speed when you are running as one of the first cars through?
There isn't much I can do with my driving; I just need to be a little bit braver. Even if it's slippery I just need go for it and be on the limit. I've always been a driver who is at my best near the end of a rally when there's a big fight. At that point I feel I can do absolutely anything. But I need to find that feeling on Friday morning too - not wait and see how the rally evolves and try and find the feeling later on - I need to fight straight away.
It seems for Loeb that rallies this year have been win or bust. Are you concerned by the pace he shows when things are going well?
A little bit - especially on the slower rallies like Sardinina. But even before the season I knew that when we approach the end of the year, and we have the faster gravel rallies, then I'd be stronger. But on the slower ones like Sardinina and Greece and Turkey clearly he's been very, very fast. But then again it was a bit of a relief in Sardinia to see that when he was first on the road he was struggling as well.
And what about the next rally in Greece - is your strategy to keep banking points or do you want another win?
I'm going flat out for a win. Sebastien has had some bad luck this year but I can't trust that he'll have any more. I need to win rallies too.
How much of a threat do you think the new Subaru will be?
You never know. Okay I think they were still struggling with the dampers in Sardinina but I don't know, it's difficult to say. We'll just have to wait and see how it goes in Greece.
Who is your biggest rival this year - Sebastien, or your team-mate?
Can you win the championship this year?