Sebastien Loeb: Still my Favorite
He is small, uses English even in our modern world less as he possibly can, he is no longer competing full time in the WRC and not even in the Team I am a fan of. So why do I keep looking at Seb, who is 8 centimeters shorter than me with my head up and as the closest thing I could find to god? here are the reasons from his racing career
3 years ago I wrote an article here for his birthday and I wrote 9 reasons why I personally adore him. Now however, I am gonna say why he is so good (even if the last 2 Rallies didn’t go very well). As this years birthday is a bit more special as Seb is no longer driving for Citroen for the first time ever and that this year the calendar is the same as in 1974, the year that Seb was born. (26.02.1974 is Tuesday and the 26.02.2019 is Tuesday as well)
No matter why you threw at him, he almost never looked angry or nervous and he could almost always come back from it. In 2001 he raced in San Remo for the first time in a WRC car and finished second, only a bit behind the winner and he didn’t look angry or nervous for a second. In 2003 he had an even bigger challenge as Carlos Sainz and Colin Mcare were his Teammate’s and he beat them both and only just missed on the title that year. And no matter what changed or got worse, he was always able to stay calm and cope with it. Whether it was the fact that Citroen left the Championship at the end of 2005 or that once he was 13 points away from the Championship leader (at a time when 10 points were given to the winner) he will always come back and fight like nothing happened. Quit a lot of drivers that have been in his situation in the Motorsport world broke because of that. You can see drivers in F1 like Hamilton and Vettel that when they start to have a run of trouble they can get massively frustrated. Loeb on the other hand would continue to do what he does best in their situations. In 2006 he crashed in Monte Carlo and finished second in Sweden and didn’t complain for a second. From there on until the end of the year he dominated the season in an embarrassing way for the Sport: Although he had a mountain bike accident that forced him to miss a quarter of a season he still won it with an old car, a private team and 2 rounds before it actually ended and that’s despite the bad start to the season. Drivers who raced against him and finished twice behind him would have been massively frustrated and wouldn’t have been able to find almost never the speed to fight against him until the end of the Season that he won.
His ability to take the person out of the driver
Racing drivers always have a never give spirit. Accept when they competed against Loeb. Loeb made drivers give up when they had to fight against him. The picture above is from the Portugוese Rally of 2007 which is one of the events that drivers just gave up on trying to catch him. Loeb started the second day with a small lead of 3 seconds however, he won all the stages of the day and it frustrated the other drivers so much that Marcus Gronholm, a 2 time WRC champion who was his main competitor at the time just decided that there is no point in trying to catch Loeb. In Ireland in 2009 in torrential rain he was faster on slicks than drivers who were on wets and on the second day he won again stage after stage and the other drivers were moaning and saying that they do whatever they can and they can’t even get close to him which made them give up on even trying to catch him. To make racing drivers decide that it’s pointless to fight against you you need to be something really special and in the case of Loeb, he definitely is.
If everything is perfect for him, none will catch him not in a billion years
If Loeb ended a stage and says that everything was perfect, you know at this moment that the fight for the victory, whether it’s in the stage or for the win is over. And also when not everything is perfect he still can be competitive. But when everything is perfect he was always a long way ahead of the pack as we saw in his last win in Spain when he started the final day with the Hard tire, said that everything was great with the car and won the 2 morning stages and later also the Rally. The reason that everything can work for him so well is his ability to set up the car to his preferences and when the car is like that he will be always ahead of anyone
And the final thing, he is a bit far from us humans
Although the picture above is a little bit old it still can describe Seb. When a guy who is 44 years old turns up in a car that was crashed and smashed by it’s other drivers and that Loeb didn’t drive for 6 months and wins the Rally against the best of the current WRC drivers, when he eliminated pretty much his 2 world champion teammates and when he dominated the WRC for a decade and made many of us think even at the start of the season that he will be champion at the end of it, makes you wonder more than once if he is actually a human and not a computer. When he was close to losing the title in 2009 and in 2 stages smashed his opposition with them not even knowing until this day how exactly he took 20 second out of them in just 2 short stages. He was always calm no matter what happened, he frustrated drivers to the point they decided there is not point in trying to catch him, he could turn up after not driving for a long time in a car that was terrible to many drivers and win and even if it may not happen now in his Hyundai days, his time in the WRC with Citroen would always be remembered as one of the most dominant era’s in Motorsport and in Sport overall. I wrote here what made him so good, and if I am gonna finish my last year in School, I”ll also write why personally I love him so much. Until then, enjoy Seb in one of the stages that he was over half a second a kilometer quicker than anyone
Joyaux Anniversaire Le Patron