Loeb Frustrated by 2006 Options

World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Loeb has called on Citroen to let him know as soon as possible about whether they plan to return to the WRC in 2007, so he can sort out his own plans for next year

Loeb Frustrated by 2006 Options

The Frenchman has been left in the limbo by hints from Citroen that they could return to the WRC as soon as 2007, after quitting at the end of this year.

That uncertainty has left Loeb unsure about whether to accept an offer to join Ford next year, especially because he could drive a privateer Citroen in 2006 if he knows the company will definitely return to the WRC in 2007.

Speaking on his official website, Loeb expressed an element of frustration about his current situation.

"[Citroen's] position is difficult," he said. "How can they make me a proposal when they do not know the big picture? The new rules seem favourable, but today nothing is still decided. They've said that they wish to return in 2007, and with me. But these are only wishes.

"I don't have an alternative, and that annoys me. I wish to have a true choice, but at the moment it's Ford or nothing. Skoda is not yet capable of winning. Subaru doesn't seem to want me and I don't want to be second driver behind Solberg. Mitsubishi is not yet sure of its programme and Citroen is unsure. With Ford, all is ready. I've visited the team's base, the budget is ready and the car should be good.

"I would like to be able to make a true choice, though. What I have at Citroen, I know I won't find elsewhere. On the technical front I talked with [Ford designer] Christian Loriaux. The team makes a very fast car, but reliability is second. One can imagine the 2006 car will have concerns on this level.

"If I must drive the Xsara next year, then I'm sure to have a reliable car that will still be competitive. Then, if Citroen returns in 2007, I know the sort of car they're able to make. Both Ford and Citroen interest me, but today only one is ready and the other hasn't been proposed to me."

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Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb
Author Jonathan Noble
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