Former Junior world champion Sebastien Ogier left Citroen for Volkswagen Motorsport last winter following several high-profile disputes between the French aces. However, Loeb’s one-time understudy has nothing but admiration for the man who helped to secure his WRC debut back in 2008 and guided him during his early years as a Citroen driver.
“To be honest it was a very nice experience to be team-mates with him,” said Ogier, pictured right with Loeb in March 2011. “I was very young in the WRC and I learned a lot from him and the team. We had some moments like everybody know last year but we had a good relationship. I don’t see him away from the race but when I see him in the race we are talking together.”
Ogier credits Loeb for inspiring him to follow his dream of becoming a WRC driver, adding: “For sure [the inspiration] was Sebastien Loeb. When I was young he was really dominating the championship, he was French and was a good example to follow. He started like me in the Rallye Jeunes selection organised by the French federation. I realised from him that it could be possible to make it because he is not coming from a rich family or something like me. It’s because he had talent and took a chance. It inspired me to do the same and in the end I reached the WRC.”
With Loeb only contesting a partial WRC campaign in 2013, the 38-year-old has stated that he expects Ogier to battle his current Citroen team-mate Mikko Hirvonen to succeed him as world rally champion next season.