Loeb and Ogier play down tensions
WRC heavyweights Sébastien Loeb and Sébastien Ogier deny there is any tension between them as they prepare to go head-to-head this week at Rally Guanajuato México [9 - 11 March].
Between them, the pair have won the last 14 WRC titles, with Loeb, 44, claiming nine in a row between 2004 and his full-time WRC retirement in 2012 and 34-year-old Ogier collecting the five since.
The two Frenchmen are also known for their fierce rivalry as team-mates at Citroën in 2011, a relationship that soured mid-season and led to Ogier joining Volkswagen in 2012.
Six year later, before he makes one of three WRC guest appearances this season in a Citroën C3, Loeb played down their past disagreements.
"The tension in the past was not directly between Seb and me," Loeb said. "The media liked to make it a war between us and it was not nice. We were both fighting. It was one of the first times I had a team-mate of his level and it was more complicated. I respect what he did and he has been doing great since then."
Ogier added, "I am very happy to see Seb and Daniel (co-driver Elena) again. There are more good memories than bad ones.
"We had tension at the time as we both had the target to be world champion. There are many examples in motorsport when you have two very angry people fighting for the same targets especially in the same team.
"This is why we love it, the adrenaline and the tension - the intensity of it. If everyone could do it, it would not be like this. That is what makes it special. Pressure is part of our job."
Loeb won in Mexico on his last six starts, but admitted he didn't know what he would be capable of this time. "I am looking forward to competing here because nobody knows what I am able to do, even myself," he said.
"I am happy to be back in the world of WRC and to see the guys who I was fighting with is nice. It is exciting to discover these new WRC cars and see if I am still able to be in a good rhythm. I have no precise goal."
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