Sebastien Loeb has said he has 'no idea' whether nor not he will continue in the World Rally Championship next year, although he has admitted that he needs the adrenalin of competing - and that he most definitely doesn't want to do a Michael Schumacher and retire too soon.
There has been a lot of speculation about what the record-breaking multiple world champion and current world championship leader might do in 2012 and at the end of last season he suggested 2011 would be his last in the WRC [see separate story – click here
]. However, while he has again reiterated an interest in sportscars, it seems he might opt for at least one more full WRC season.
“I know that I'm closer to the end of my racing career than to its beginning,” said the Frenchman ahead of next week's Rallye Deutschland. “If you look at the last few rallies [though], you will see that my driving is still competitive. I am still competing for the title. But I absolutely don't know what will be after the end of this season.
“It's very hard to take that kind of decision. In my heart, I still want to compete. And I want to avoid getting in Michael's situation where I retire only to come back after a few years. I hope I'll find a different way for myself.
“If I say farewell to the WRC, then it should be forever. Once I'm through with rally-racing I can see myself in endurance racing. Le Mans is something I would like to do. I also like circuit racing. But the most important thing I need is: adrenalin. I cannot imagine just doing nothing. Not now, not in a few years down the line.
“I have seven WRC titles and this year I hope I'll get number eight. Should I win another one after that, I don't see what that would change for me. It is also a question of motivation. I would definitely like to have more time for my family but I also need a challenge. I really have no idea what I will do. Maybe I need something new. I have not decided yet.”
Loeb meanwhile, who took his fourth win of 2011 in Finland at the end of last month, will be out to further extend his 27-point lead in this year's drivers' championship when the sport heads to Germany next week.
The 37-year-old will start as undoubted favourite in Trier, given he has won there every single year stretching back to 2002 - scene of his debut WRC win - although he knows there is no guarantee he will come out top again next weekend.
“Of course I would be disappointed [if I don't win in Germany]. No doubt about that. But I also know that one day I will not be the winner. That's the way it is in racing,” continued the Citroen man. “But I do hope to get a good result again this year, especially with the WRC being such a tight race this year.
“My chances are good [however]. After all this is one of the only asphalt only rallies. As far as I can remember, I've won no other WRC rally as regularly as I have in Germany, right?
“And haven't I won almost every asphalt rally I've started in over the past few years? I suppose I am the favourite. I have to live with that and I can live with that,” Loeb summed-up.