Sebastien Loeb says his approach hasn't changed head into the latest round of the WRC in Sardinia, despite the fact that he has now wrapped up ninth championship title.
The Frenchman secured another championship crown to add to his resume with victory on home soil in France and now has just events remaining before he calls time on his full-time WRC career.
Despite the fact he now has nothing left to fight for from a championship point of view, Loeb said he remained focus on victory even though the pressure has been lifted from his shoulders.
“When I compete in a rally, my aim is to win it,” he said, “otherwise, I might as well stay at home! The same goes for the entire Citroen team. It's certainly true that after winning the titles, the tension has eased somewhat. There was a widespread sense of relief after we won in France, because everybody was waiting expectantly for it to happen. We still had to do it though, and nothing was easy in the car.
“In Sardinia, we'll feel less pressure and we'll be able to enjoy ourselves. It's so nice and rare to be able to compete in a rally without having to worry about managing things. Once again, we'll enjoy it if we win!”
Reflecting on his latest title, Loeb admitted it had been a special moment to wrap up the crown on home soil.
“I had experienced it two years ago and I wanted to experience it again,” he said. “It was even more intense this time, given that it was my last world title... in rallying, at least. Daniel and I have often said to one another that we have to make the most of these moments, because we won't experience anything like it again. On the other hand, it is my decision to stop, so I don't feel bitter. I know that other big challenges lie ahead.
“There were quite a few emotional moments, especially on Sunday when we went through the places near to where I grew up. I was taken aback by how many people turned out to support me throughout the whole week in Alsace, during reconnaissance, the stages and at the podium.
“It is mad how popular rallying has become in Alsace and I would suggest that this is certainly not the last time I will be taking part at this event!”