Citroen ace Sebastien Loeb looks ahead to next week's Rallye de France - and after his error in Australia he's feeling the pressure...

Sebastien, attention seems to be concentrated on your duel with S?bastien Ogier. But as the end of the season approaches Mikko Hirvonen is now your most serious rival, isn't he?

Sebastien Loeb:
Sebastien and I had the same race in Australia! We both made mistakes and left the door open for our rivals.

The first consequence is that the Citro?n Total World Rally Team's lead in the Manufacturers' World Championship has been cut.

The second is that Mikko has closed the gap in the drivers' title chase. We're now under pressure from a driver in another make of car, so it's not the same thing. This is why the team gave orders at the end of the rally so I could add another point to my total. In this type of situation every point is worth its weight in gold!

With two tarmac rallies out of the three rounds left, the situation is still to your advantage, isn't it?

Sebastien Loeb:
In theory only! We're always at the mercy of a driving error or a mechanical problem. Despite eight wins on the trot in Germany, I wasn't able to continue the series.

At the same time Mikko is a rival who gives nothing away, and he's shown that he can never be ruled out. We have to watch out and transform our theoretical advantage into points!

Do you have any special feelings about taking part in the second Rally France-Alsace?

Sebastien Loeb:
I'm here above all to compete in a rally - and to try and win it if possible!

Like last year I'll have to concentrate on my race and try and ignore everything else that's going on around me. I'll do my best to remain accessible, but there are so many people that I can't do it for all my supporters.

Although it's mathematically impossible for me to win the title next weekend, the pressure's the same. I could say that I haven't got a title to win yet, but rather that I've got one not to lose!



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