Loeb: Tactics not nice for the sport.

Sebastien Loeb has said that it is 'wrong' tactics played such a key role in deciding the outcome of the Rally of Turkey this weekend, the final round in the World Rally Championship before the summer break.

Loeb was forced to play the 'road sweeper' on both days one and two, after Mikko Hirvonen, Jari-Matti Latvala and Gigi Galli all slowed in the final stage on Friday night in order to ensure they didn't have to run first in the order on the second leg.

Those tactical manoeuvres 'gifted' Seb the overnight lead, but he soon lost the position on Saturday morning, as he had to clean the roads and cope with the worst of the conditions.

The Frenchman eventually came home in third position on Sunday and with Hirvonen winning, Seb drops to second in the drivers' championship, 3 points adrift.

"It's not nice to clean the road, but I think if you look at the tactics it's really good [how it worked for Ford]. They are first and second [at the finish]. The regulation is not completely right though," said the four-time world champion, who admitted on Friday he would have done the same had he been in that same position.

"For the sport it's not so nice to see that, but it's normal for Ford to use it. Everybody is talking about the tactics - it would be nice to talk about the speed. Something is a bit wrong in my view. In this rally, Ford played it well and we lost. It is normal."

Citroen boss Olivier Quesnel was definitely not impressed with Ford's 'go slow' measures and he voiced his disapproval in Friday's end of day press conference, pointing out that Loeb doesn't need to do such tricks to win.

"I think for us what happened is good news, because that means Seb and Citroen are very difficult to beat and they [Ford] need to use special things," said Quesnel. "I don't think it is fair play.

"I know Malcolm told me in Greece that Seb is the cleverest driver and so I know why he did it tonight [Friday]. But what I can say is in seven rallies [this year] we have won five of them and we just let Sebastien drive fast - and that is all. We don't need anything else. I understand why Malcolm did it. He needs to win sometimes!"

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroen C4, Citroen Total World Rally Team
Alexey Lukyanuk - Ford Fiesta R5
Alexey Lukyanuk - Ford Fiesta R5
Pierre Louis Loubet (FRA) - Vincent Landais (FRA) Citroen DS3 R5
Pierre Louis Loubet (FRA) - Vincent Landais (FRA) Citroen DS3 R5
Karl Kruuda (EST) - Martin Jarveoja (EST) Ford Fiesta R5, Drive Dmack Trophy Team
Scott Pedder (AUS) Dale Moscatt (AUS), Skoda Fabia R5
Scott Pedder (AUS) Dale Moscatt (AUS), Skoda Fabia R5
Scott Pedder (AUS) Dale Moscatt (AUS), Skoda Fabia R5
Essapeka Lappi (FIN) Janne Ferm (FIN), Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
Quentin Gilbert  (FRA) - Renaud Jamoul (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA)-Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, FWRT
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA)-Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, FWRT
Teemu Suninen (FIN) - Mikko Markkula (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5, Team Oreca
Nicolás Fuchs (PER) - Fernando Mussano (ARG) Skoda Fabia R5
Nicolás Fuchs (PER) - Fernando Mussano (ARG) Skoda Fabia R5
Podium, winners Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger (NOR), VW Polo WRC, Volswagen Motosport, 2nd place, Ott Tanak (EST) Raigo Molder (EST), Ford Fiesta WRC, Dmack WRT and 3th Hayden Paddon (NZL) John Kennard (NZ), Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport

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squiggle - Unregistered

June 16, 2008 5:20 PM

1. Loeb has had the opportunity to do the same this year - and hasn't. 2. But the rules are more to blame than Ford, at least in the cases of Hirvonen and Latvala. 3. But I think to use the other Fords was scuzzy. A bit like Ferrari using Toro Rosso or Renault using Red Bull. 4. It's ridiculous - but to be expected - that the writer of the article and some commenters here are completely misrepresenting Seb's measured remarks. What's happening to Crash?

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