Loeb: I didn’t really need any help

Sebastien Loeb 'delighted' with Jordan Rally win - but concedes the final day tactics employed by both Citroen and Ford are seemingly at the 'limit of the regulations'.
Sebastien Loeb has said he is not sure he needed any 'assistance' to win the Jordan Rally, although he conceded maybe a 'solution' is needed to stop WRC events being tarnished by strategic 'games'.

Loeb eventually took the victory on the event, the third round in the 2010 World Rally Championship, by 35.8 seconds, having won nine stages in total. However the final day was overshadowed by more tactical shenanigans - something that had already been witnessed at the end of day one, when Petter Solberg and Dani Sordo both slowed to get a better road position for day two.

Seb had been due to run first on the road on the final day and play the 'road sweeper', but he actually ended up running second in the order after Sebastien Ogier got two penalties. Ford also employed similar tactics in a bid to help Jari-Matti Latvala, and 'engineered' it so that Mikko Hirvonen, who had re-started under the SupeRally, ran third.

Speaking after the event, Loeb said he was 'surprised' when he found out Ogier was going to be running in front of him on the final day.

"Really, I did not know," Loeb said. "I knew that Mikko would be with Jari-Matti and that I am going into the stage [first]. But [in the end] it was tactics from both teams. We changed something to be first and second on the road. But I think we speak too much about the tactics and not about what we are doing. For me, Ogier and Mikko are in some games and maybe we have to find a solution.

"It was not just a special strategy by the Citroën team. It was a special strategy by both teams. I heard that Mikko is going to clean the road and then that Ogier is coming for me. Okay they are both now our road cleaners and it is like that.

"For sure, the team's strategy made things a bit easier for me, but I'm not sure I really needed it and despite a position that was not as favourable as Jari-Matti's, we were able to open up the gap a bit more.

"[All-in-all] I'm [still] delighted to have won such a tough rally. Our second victory in three events has helped us to open up a twenty-five point gap, the equivalent of a victory, over the second-paced driver. We can now tackle the next rally in Turkey in a reasonably relaxed frame of mind."

Citroen Racing team principal, Olivier Quesnel meanwhile insisted that the first penalty Ogier picked up was the result of an electrical problem - not a tactical move - and that this had already dashed the youngsters' hopes of making it onto the podium.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team

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izani - Unregistered

April 06, 2010 3:59 PM

I have no problem with both team play tactic,for sure Ford will never win the driver championship without tactic. That why FIA change the starting order so that the very fast driver ( Loeb )cannot get too far ( time ) in front. You can see this before this rules change that Loeb become world champion before the season end.

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