Q. What's the news on long-distance events. In the middle of everything else, we seem to have lost sight of the potential for these to come back?
JM: I share the vision with [FIA president] Jean Todt, but we have to look when the time frame is right. We need to have the adventure back, but if this doesn't bring any value to the championship then why should we do it? We have to practical and pragmatic about this. If we want to create adventure, but the fans are against this, then we would be foolish to do this. In normal business, if you want to invest in something, you do that and then a couple of years later you see some return on that.
But we shouldn't forget that we are still in the middle of the hurricane of the economic crisis and creating something which could increase the costs might not be the right thing to do at the moment. What we have to remember is that the organizers know their business. When we leave the organizers to their own business, they make better business. How could the FIA know better what Sweden needs than the organizers there? This is why we opened the regulations from 300 to 500 (competitive kilometers), but we know that we don't solve the problems of the organizers by simply increasing the mileage.
Also, we cannot forget the DNA – if we do this then it can go terribly wrong. In the past, rallying has been demanding, a little bit more extreme, but not quite as extreme as rally raid. At the moment, it's like a day at the office, you work in the morning, have a long lunch, a little bit more work and then to the hotel for the TV.
Q. What did you think of the Monte Carlo Rally format?
JM: They wanted to use their event to reflect their history. Monte Carlo is an iconic event. Ask the light user and they come up with the name Monte – for us it is great to have them back. I talk to the manufacturers and there were some small things. There are some things to do, they have been away for three years and this year's rally was still run a little bit like an IRC round. But I don't complain on the event at all. We need their kind of local flavor. Not complaining, but if you look at F1, if they don't tell you where they are then it's only the heavy users know where they are, but for us we always take the local flavor and know where we are.
Q. How important is the next month for the WRC?
JM: It will shape the future of the world championship. For us, I am very happy that the senior management of the governing body is so supportive in the ways to find the solution of how we're going to work in the future. All these guys see this as an opportunity for the championship and for the FIA, this gives us the chance to produce something new and something sustainable. There has never been a more important month for this championship, not in all of its history. It takes a huge load of work, but on the other hand it's good to start from scratch. It's very good to know there are people who want to work in this, I should say, circus.
Q. What's the future for television, for Mexico?
JM: That should be OK. I can't go into details, but we are working to the plans to have central distribution – we should come out with these plans in the next few days.
Q. What about the television production?
JM: That's the small part on this game, I can't even take a position on this. The big thing is about the distribution and maintaining in the broadcasters [around the world]. Our aim is to plan and find a system very quickly for the central distribution of footage.
Q. Central distribution controlled by yourselves?
JM: That is one possibility, or you put it out to agencies – there are several agencies around the world who can do this.
Q. Is there a danger of individual rallies doing individual broadcast deals?
JM: This doesn't work. The broadcaster wants the whole season and he wants them all. It's quite difficult for them if there's a hole in the calendar (where the individual event has done a deal with another broadcaster).
Q. What's your view on the BMW/Mini situation?
JM: Well, I have been in the middle of the process the whole time – I went to visit them in Munich at the beginning of the year. Basically, I don't want to interfere with their own business, but the message from us was that the car was homologated but it wasn't eligible for the World Rally Championship. The only thing they could do to complete their homologation was to enter the Manufacturers' World Rally Championship, what they have done now. They have done it with another team than Prodrive. It's up to them what they do with their money, but the homologation is sorted for seven years.
Prodrive is now outside the championship; we canceled the waiver they had and they can now do whatever events they have. This is not so say Prodrive is not under obligations – they have a P1 (Priority 1) driver (Dani Sordo) and so all of these restrictions will apply. They can't go testing 150 days a year and then come and win, this would be unfair to the other manufacturers.
Q. What do you think should be done about qualifying?
JM: There are small things to do. Qualifying was a promotional more than an organizational element. It worked well, but all I am afraid of is the gaps increasing which is the risk this year. When the cars are in the reverse order, so the gaps can get bigger and bigger and this is not in the interest of the championship, yes it's fair from the sport point of view but I am still a little confused about why we always give the best place to the best drivers. This is absolutely under review.
Q. Is it true that you are still talking to a group from Qatar about promotion?
JM: I think we have to keep talking with all the interested parties to be very honest. Let's see what happens – all the doors are open and the windows as well. We have to do the best for the sport – this sport cannot be just bought. If somebody comes with a lot of money to buy the rights, they have to show the right plan for the promotion. Otherwise, we could make a huge mistake.
Q. Is there a danger of forgetting about this year?
JM: We are working flat-out for the fundamental things, timing tracking and the distribution of the television. If we don't get 2012 right, we face it in 2013 and we have to get this year right as well – there is no danger for this year.