Why did you choose the Sebastien Loeb Racing?
Last year, we worked closely with Sebastien Loeb himself on a 2012 program. Unfortunately, the project didn’t quite happen, so there was a feeling of unfinished work between the two of us. So now it is happening in 2013 and they contacted me and we decided to finally achieve this project together.
The ambitions of Sebastien and his team are: “As high as possible, as soon as possible”, which fits perfectly with my ambitions. My career has been progressing for a few years, and my aim is to win the FIA GT Series this year so I hope everything is in place to complete that goal. But of course, we stay humble, we know that we still have everything to implement to make it work.
Have you already met everyone from the team?
Yes, I already had an opportunity to do my first test session at Ledenon last weekend. It went really well, the team is very receptive, the atmosphere is great. I care a lot about the human aspects of a team, and this is something that I found with Sebastien Loeb Racing, as well as the technical and performance aspect. The team really responds to my values and I appreciate that. Last year, I did not have the chance to have an engineer or a real technical presence by my side, so it was not easy. But this year, the situation is going to be completely different with the Sebastien Loeb Racing team. I will have a full opportunity to express myself at the wheel so I am looking forward to the beginning of the season with my new team.
Are you also likely to do some Blancpain Endurance Series races in 2013?
I give priority to the FIA GT Series yet it is highly probable to find me in Blancpain Endurance Series as well during the 2013 season, as part of a Pro crew. But there is nothing sure yet. We will find out in a few days I hope. But in any case, I remain faithful to SRO organisation and I have full confidence in the implementation of a high standard series.
Last year, you raced in GT1, what are you expecting from the new series?
For me, the FIA GT Series is an elite category. There will always be excellent drivers in that category. My goal is to compete against the best teams and the best drivers. The aim is to strive for performance and to challenge for victory and success. The current format allows drivers to prove their value and differentiate themselves.
You are going to team up with Andreas Zuber, do you already know him well?
Yes, actually last year I teamed up with Matt Halliday for the first races of the championship but then he left and it was Andreas who replaced him. So, we did the Portimao race together in the same car and it went very well. I thought of him straight away when we started undertaking this project with Sebastien Loeb Racing. I think our performance level should be really competitive. Andreas already proved in the past his reliability and his speed. As for me, I won one race in FIA GT1 last year so I should be all right. Joining Sebastien Loeb Racing is going to be a good package for us, the team and the manufacturer.
Did you already test with Andreas in the McLaren?
No, not yet. We could not synchronise our schedules in order to drive together yet but we will soon. But I know my teammate, and I trust him so everything is going to work just fine.
What is your program for next week?
Test sessions, developing the car and preparing for the Nogaro race because Sebastien Loeb Racing is not only racing. Outside the track you have the whole event planning company Loeb Event, and as Nogaro is on my homeland, we will be trying to give this race the best possible preparation. Indeed, I should have a lot of supporters coming to that race to support me. Having the first race “at home” is a chance and an opportunity I already get last year, with the FIA GT1 championship. And I will be there, racing in a top series, with a top team, I could not be more pleased!
What do you think of the McLaren MP412C so far?
I already had a chance to drive that car actually, with ART Grand Prix for the 24 Hours of Spa last season. In my opinion it is one of the most complete cars in the field, with its carbon construction and its cutting-edge technology. I think that the collaboration between McLaren and the Sebastien Loeb Racing is an amazing opportunity for us as drivers. Despite it only beig at the start of its development, the McLaren MP4-12C is technically advanced, in terms of both aerodynamics and mechanical processing. It is a great challenge to drive but it gives a lot of pleasure to drive it.← Next Previous →