Citroen begs for Loeb: Please drive for us again!
Citroen asks Sebastien Loeb to take up full time in the WRC World Rally Championship again as of the 2019 WRC season – but can he be persuaded?
Sebastien Loeb made an extremely strong impression with his interim lead at the Mexico 2018 Rally and fifth place in the final standings despite tyre damage. Comparisons with the later winner Sebastien Ogier are not allowed, because he had to sweep the streets on the opening day, but the Citroen team has boosted self-confidence. So much so that it would be best to put all your money back on the services of the record world champion.
“It’s like the boss is back,”Kris Meeke describes the effect Loeb’s presence in the Citroen camp triggered,”It’s the same as Seb Ogier’s presence at M-Sport. Suddenly, a multiple world champion is in the team and everyone adds a shovel. Seb is the crowning glory of rallying. He brings with him an aura that immediately captures everyone in the team. Both of us could have easily landed on the podium here. Unfortunately, we both made a mistake.”
“I’ve always said that I want him back on the team and this rally only supports that,”he continues,”If I had the chance to complete a full season at his side, I’d learn so much. He came and immediately did an extraordinary job. Can you imagine what we’d have for a team if we had him with us and Craig (Breen) in the third car? We would be at the forefront of the manufacturers’ world championship. Why shouldn’t we do this for next year?”
Citroen team boss Pierre Budar also has much praise for Loeb:”Mexico has impressively demonstrated its performance. We have seen that he is still incredibly fast and can quickly adapt to a new car. When he took the lead on the second day, everyone went to their limits. We didn’t expect him to get in there so fast. but expected him to need more time.”
And what does the Frenchman himself have to say about a possible comeback? In a conversation with’ Motorsport-Total. com’, he doesn’t allow himself to be looked into the cards:”This year I’m going to do rallycross with Peugeot. I can’t dance at all weddings. And when I quit the WRC, I knew why. As one of the reasons he quoted the many journeys back then,” Now I drive and it’s cool, but the whole championship? I don’t know, it’s not planned at this time.”
Incidentally, he also rejects a start at the Rallye Deutschland 2018, his former favourite event:”The problem is that I’m on vacation. I’ll be on the beach,”he smiles.
© Motorsport-Total. com