Sebastien Loeb says Sebastien Ogier will succeed him as World Rally champion
Last Updated: 01/05/13 11:55am
Sebastien Ogier: Should become World Rally champion later this year
Sebastien Loeb does not think anyone can stop Sebastien Ogier becoming the man to succeed him as World Rally champion.
Nine-time champion Loeb is running a partial schedule this season and he returns to action in the Rally of Argentina this weekend with Ogier already 54 points clear in the race for the title.
Ogier has won the last three events, beaten only by Loeb in Monaco, and his Volkswagen team has so far avoided the trouble that most others have been plagued by.
Loeb, who is seeking an eighth win in Argentina, said: "He seems very comfortable in his car, which is well born. It makes a good package. We knew he was very quick and so there is no real surprise (in his results).
"I don't think anyone can beat him. On paper, it looks like he will win the title very soon, but it's never finished before it is and we have also experienced seasons where fate and luck were going up and down.
"As far as I know from the team, the Polos have encountered a lot of technical problems, so they might have some [more of those] too."
Loeb hopes his return to action will result in victory - he won the 2013 season opener in Monte Carlo - but he fears a little rust having not raced in the last two rounds, dating back to early March.
"I haven't competed for two months and I am cautious," he added. "I don't know where I will stand after day one. But once the helmet is on, Daniel [Elena co-driver] and I will be motivated for the best result possible.
"Apart from one day of testing, I haven't driven on gravel since the 2012 Rally of Spain. I don't know what sort of feeling I'll have on the first few stages. I think that you can lose your rhythm pretty quickly, and that's why I'm cautious about my chances."