Q&A with Sebastien Loeb

"You can imagine what you want but you never thought this could happen"

By Franck Drui

30 May 2011 - 08:22
Q&A with Sebastien Loeb

Sebastien Loeb claimed Rally Argentina win number six in his Citroen DS3 WRC. But he left it late, snatching first place from team-mate Sebastien Ogier on the event-closing Power Stage. Wrc.com heard from the Frenchman.

When you were handed a one-minute penalty on Friday did you ever imagine you’d fight back to win?

“You can imagine what you want but you never thought this could happen. After the penalty and when we saw the rhythm of all the drivers all fighting for seconds in the stages we realised it was impossible to be fighting for the victory so the target was to catch the closest driver in front. This was Mikko [Hirvonen] and I tried to push as hard as possible from Friday midday until now. Finally I’m really happy for that effort because I won by two seconds after pushing on the limit all the time.”

What was your approach on Sunday’s first stage? Was it full attack to try to catch Hirvonen?

“I started the stage pushing but not exactly like yesterday. In the fog it was difficult and Mikko was pushing hard and really woke up. I tried my best but the conditions were very difficult, dry at the start, wet in the middle and fog for 28 kilometres.”

After Sebastien Ogier had his problems when did you actually think you could win?

“When I knew what really his problems were. When I saw his time [on the first stage] for me I thought it was normal, just slowing down a little bit because he had a big enough gap. Then I was told about his problems on his car, that he had rolled. When I knew he had power steering problems with only a 20-second lead I knew it would be impossible [for him to win]. But it didn’t change anything for me because I was fighting with Mikko and the only way was to push.”

How important is this win for the championship?

“For sure it’s important to win than be behind by two biggest rivals in the championship. Mikko is only 13 points behind so it’s still really open but I’m happy to score some big points.”

Given how you recovered from your one-minute penalty was this your best win so far?

“It was not my best win because Ogier was leading and would have won had he not rolled. Also Jari-Matti [Latvala] and Petter [Solberg] had problems but it’s an incredible result in very difficult circumstances. It’s also a good result for Citroen with Ogier finishing third.”



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