Q. Jost, a strong day here in Mexico for Volkswagen Motorsport. Sebastien Ogier leads by 33 seconds. Is he unbeatable at the moment?
Jost Capito: “It was a really good day for Sebastien. It’s the first time on a gravel rally for the new Polo R WRC and we did not really know what to expect, so I think we found today two things: the first is that the car is competitive on gravel and the second, with the bad luck that Jari-Matti had, is that we still have to work on the car.”
Q. Jari-Matti had a disappointing start to the day, he was hardly 500 metres into the opening stage before he hit a rock. What exactly happened?
Jost Capito: “He hit a rock that was in the middle of the road and that was not there before. He didn’t have a chance to get around it. So the rock hit the car. Normally that should be okay for the car but this is the sort of experience that we have to gain on our first gravel rally. We broke a part so we couldn’t continue but he will be back on the stages tomorrow.”
Q. Yves, Mikko Hirvonen is in third overall. We saw yesterday that Mikko set the fastest time on the Qualifying Stage to give himself the best position today. Do you feel that that he hasn’t capitalised on that or do you think he’s done a good job?
Yves Matton: “His feeling was good today and he’s very happy with the car but he’s not able to be fast. We will see what we can do tomorrow. The stages are a little bit different and we hope tomorrow he can do some best times and try to catch second place. Then after we’ll see what’s possible.“
Q. Benito Guerra is competing in the Citroen DS3 on his home event. It’s his first time in a WRC car and he’s really impressed on the stages today. What have you thought of his performance?
Yves Matton: “He’s doing very well. It is important for him to do all of the rally, and when you are coming from a Production Car and jumping into a World Rally Car with just one day of testing it’s a big job. For sure he enjoys a lot and he will improve during the rally. We hope that he can be in a good position at the end of the rally.”
Q. Malcolm, we’ve seen a great performance from Mads Ostberg today. He’s been challenging Sebastien Ogier and setting fastest stage times, but at the end of the day he is now 30 seconds off the lead. Can he continue to challenge for the lead or are you already going to try and settle for second?
Malcolm Wilson: “That’s a good question. I think for sure we’re going to keep the pressure on. It’s a very difficult rally, it’s very hard on the cars so anything can happen, as Jost has witnessed today with Jari-Matti. So we will try to keep the pressure on, but I have to say I’m really delighted with Mads’ performance. He’s done a fantastic job to come here with the level of experience that he’s got and be able to post fastest times. It’s only been Sebastien and Mads that have done that today."
Q. Thierry Neuville has had a strong rally so far. This morning he wasn’t receiving splits into the car. He said he didn’t like it but his times were good. This afternoon did you let him have splits to improve the performance or not?
Malcolm Wilson: “I said earlier that it would be best not to give them to him and I think I’ve been proved right because this morning he was really strong. He’s been getting the splits this afternoon and he’s lost more time. So no more splits for Thierry.”