Loeb is unlikely to contest more than five rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship in 2013 but Mestelan-Pinon insists the French legend will still perform a key role for Citroen.
“Sebastien is still a Citroen driver next year and his experience is very important so of course I will call him [for advice on events] and I hope he can help,” said the design guru.
However, Mestelan-Pinon accepts Loeb’s influence will be diminished slightly due to new regulations restricting manufacturer teams to 42 days of testing next season.
“We didn’t finalise testing [days] with him yet,” confirmed Mestelan-Pinon. “If Mikko [Hirvonen] and [Dani Sordo], are to make the best job, they will need to drive the car as often as possible. With Sebastien it will be difficult [to test] except for the rallies he will do, like Monte Carlo, so I don’t expect him to make a lot of tests.”