Renault's Heikki Kovalainen got to try out Sebastien Loeb's championship winning Citroen C4 WRC car on Wednesday.

Kovalainen drove the C4 WRC on a special stage near the Paul Ricard HTTT, while Seb joined him in the car and sat in the co-drivers' seat to give him a few tips. The 'swap' was part of a special promotional event organised by Total-Elf, who are partners of both the ING Renault F1 team and the Citroen World Rally Team.

Heikki, who has been in the C4 WRC before, was delighted with the experience: "This was a wonderful day, and I had a great time driving Sebastien's car," he reflected.

"I had previously been in this type of car as a co-driver, but this was miles better! I felt quite comfortable, even though the sensations are extremely different to what you feel in an F1 car.

"I talked a lot with Sebastien and Dani [Sordo], and it was interesting to see how they controlled the car in the slow and high-speed corners, and learn from it."

Loeb and team-mate, Daniel Sordo meanwhile both had a chance to get behind the wheel of last year's championship-winning Renault R26, and this time it was Kovalainen's turn to provide the pointers.

Like Heikki, Loeb definitely enjoyed the day: "Today has been a fantastic experience," added the Frenchman, who secured his fourth successive drivers' title on Sunday at the season ending Wales Rally GB, "if I'm honest, it's a little bit like Christmas come early!

"I have just become a father for the first time, I won my fourth world title last weekend, and now a dream has come true: driving a Formula 1 car for the first time.

"I was very impressed with the grip generated by the aerodynamics, which is radically different from what we are used to in rallying.

"I already knew Paul Ricard well from my testing before Le Mans last year, so it meant I could really make the most of today's opportunity. It was a truly exceptional day."

 

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