Sebastien, first of all, how are you feeling?
SO: “Better and better. When I came here on Monday I really wasn’t sure if I could do the rally. I couldn’t find anything to help my illness, but I decided to try and see how it went. Luckily after the recce I started to feel a little bit better. For sure I started the rally on slow form but I've improved since then. It’s been similar with the car; I was not happy with the suspension set-up but we’ve improved it as the event has gone on.”
One day to go and a 34sec lead – is victory in the bag?
SO: “I wouldn’t say it was a comfortable lead. There is still a very long day to go tomorrow - especially with the long 52km stage to run twice - so a lot of things can still happen.”
What will you do to prepare for the Almodovar stage?
SO: “I’m hoping to get a good night’s sleep. That’s what I’ve missed most in the last couple of weeks.”
What tyres do you have left for Sunday’s stages?
SO: "Jari-Matti and I still have eight new tyres, so two more than Mikko. That’s not too bad but still it’s going to be tough in the second loop. We’ve seen this afternoon that after a loop of 80km we’ve finished with really damaged tyres. Tomorrow we have to do more than 70, so it’s going to be hard.”
Jari-Matti, We’ve seen a new confidence in your driving today. How are you feeling?
J-ML: "It’s been a good day and I’m very satisfied. We attacked a bit in the morning and got some really good stage times. In the afternoon I tried to save my tyres in what were quite demanding conditions. The main thing is I now start to understand the Polo and am building confidence in how you can push. I’m getting a really good feeling with the car. There are a couple of things I can still improve but the main thing is to be here fighting with these guys.”
How concerned are you about Mikko tomorrow?
J-ML: “I have 30 seconds to Sebastien in front and 30 seconds to Mikko behind so I’m stuck in the middle and I’ll try to stay there. Tomorrow will be a challenging day – especially with the 52km stage – and nothing is finished until you are at the finish. So I need to follow how Mikko is pushing and try to adjust my speed to suit.”
Is there any chance you can catch Sebastien tomorrow?
JML: “I would like to win for sure, but I need to be realistic too. I think you first need to achieve a podium and then you can really fight for the victory. In other words, don’t try to grab a huge piece from the first cake, because the second cake might be much nicer!”
Mikko, What’s your plan for tomorrow?
MH: “We will see. I’m 30 seconds behind Jari-Matti and it’s going to be tough for me in the morning. We don’t have enough new tyres for both loops tomorrow so in the morning I have to start with two used ones.”
How hard were you pushing today?
MH: “I tried, for sure. But maybe I was a little bit frustrated with the speed of the Volkswagens and overdriving - being too aggressive. That lost me some time I think. But okay, we’ve been trying. Now let’s see what tomorrow brings.”