Speaking at the annual Autosport Awards event in London on Sunday night, Vettel praised Loeb’s ability behind the wheel after the French ace made it nine WRC titles in a row in 2012 with the factory Citroen team.
“This guy is an exception,” said Vettel. “It’s really exceptional, his talent and not only that, but also the amount of intelligence - especially in rallying. You know, when I talk about spinning the car around and taking the clutch and using it to my advantage [at the final Grand Prix in Brazil], these guys are doing that kind of thing in every second corner. [What they do is] pretty impressive and I have huge respect. But what’s even more important is that he’s a normal guy and vey nice person.”
Of Vettel’s achievements, Loeb said: “Sebastien showed this year that he is really strong in his mind. He had a hard start to the season and then the last race started really badly for him, but finally he was still there and still motivated to close the gap and he came back. It was really hard for him in the car - but he showed he’s a real champion and sure he will have some other titles in the future.”
Loeb and Vettel will receive their trophies at the FIA Prize Giving Gala in Istanbul, Turkey, on Friday.
Did you know? Sebastian Vettel visited Neste Oil Rally Finland in 2009 as a guest of the factory Citroen team and its backer Red Bull.