Sebastien Loeb has revealed that his continued participation in the World Rally Championship could be decided before the next round in Germany.
Loeb is on course for his eighth world crown following his fourth victory of the current campaign on Neste Oil Rally Finland last month. However, the 37-year-old has yet to ink a new deal with long-term employer Citroen, meaning his future in the sport remains in the balance.
“They [Citroen] are waiting for me so I have to decide in the next week,” Loeb told Autosport magazine in the United Kingdom. “I will decide whether I stay at Citroen or stay in the rally, but with somebody else or retire and do something else. One thing is sure, I will not stop driving.”
If Loeb did move away from Citroen then Volkswagen, which will enter the world championship in 2013 with its Polo R WRC, could prove attractive to the French ace. Loeb has previous experience of developing new machines – he played a pivotal role in the development of Citroen’s C4 and DS3 World Rally Cars – and admits to enjoying the challenge.
“Yeah, for sure, it’s also an opportunity for me, maybe,” said Loeb. “I have to think to that [and if] I really want to continue? I have been thinking about this for a few days.”
Loeb’s boss at Citroen, Olivier Quesnel, naturally wants his star driver to stay put, despite the emergence of Sebastien Ogier as a worthy future successor.
“I hope he will stay with us, but at the end we will see,” Quesnel told Autosport. “He has been with us for 10 years and one day he will stop. If he is not here, we will have to succeed without him. But my target is to have an agreement with Loeb and I won’t speak about drivers who might replace him.”
ADAC Rallye Deutschland takes place from 18-21 August.