Citroen's Sebastien Loeb has said he wants to really savour his victory on Rallye Monte Carlo as in all likelihood it will be his last on the event.
Loeb took the lead in the second stage and after that pulled further and further ahead of his rivals, eventually finishing the event over 1.5 minutes up on his closest rival and former team-mate, Sebastien Ogier. Despite his dominance though, Loeb conceded the conditions did make it demanding, especially those on the final day.
“It feels good. For sure I am always happy when I win. Monte Carlo is one of the most exciting rallies I have done,” he said.
“It's been a little bit peculiar though, not because of how the rally has gone, but because we have had every condition possible this weekend - apart from dry roads! I think this is the first Monte Carlo that I have competed in where I haven't used slick tyres at all.
“Usually when we use the studs on the Monte Carlo it is not too bad. But this time it was studs all the time. The conditions were really slippery. It was the most difficult Monte I've done. It was really tricky, really difficult.
“The conditions were extreme compared to what we have usually here. To win in these conditions was not easy.
“I am happy to be at the end. We nearly dominated the event from start to finish, so I'm pleased about that and I'm going to really savour this win, especially as in all likelihood it'll be my last one here.”
Asked how tough the final three stages were, and especially the two runs up Col du Turini, Loeb added that it was extremely difficult.
“It was just undriveable,” he explained. “I had to carve a line through a thick layer of slush, and we were aquaplaning all the time. You couldn't go any faster than 30kph on the straight sections, otherwise you lose the car completely and you go off! It was unbelievable – really tricky.”
Citroen boss, Yves Matton meanwhile was delighted to see Loeb win the event for the seventh time - and equal the record of four consecutive Monte wins held by Tommi Makinen. He was also happy with Dani Sordo's third place finish on his return to the Citroen fold, and furthermore, with Mikko Hirvonen and Bryan Bouffier coming home fourth and fifth, Citroen took four of the top five places.
“It was a bit of strange end to the rally, but given the extreme conditions, we understand the decision [to cancel the final two stages],” Matton reflected. “The target we had set ourselves was to put two cars on the podium, and that's exactly what we did. It's also very pleasing to see the four DS3 WRCs end the rally in the top five.”