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Loeb aware of weaknesses after Dakar debut

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Loeb aware of weaknesses after Dakar debut
By:
Jan 17, 2016, 2:18 PM

Peugeot driver Sebastien Loeb reckons he has learned a lot in his first Dakar Rally, gaining experience that will be "useful for the future".

Sebastien Loeb and Nassar Al-Attiyah
#314 Peugeot: Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena
#314 Peugeot: Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena
#314 Peugeot: Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena
#314 Peugeot: Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena
#314 Peugeot: Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena

WRC legend Loeb, running alongside his long-time co-driver Daniel Elena, topped four stages of Dakar 2016 - more than any other driver - but a costly roll on Stage 8 meant he could finish no higher than ninth overall.

Despite the issues, the Frenchman reckoned his debut Dakar performance was largely positive.

"To sum up, I would say that this Dakar was not so bad for me," Loeb said. "Of course, we still have to work, for example, on driving off-piste or on the sand.

"But I must admit, as far as the first week was concerned, on the tracks, we went well and the car was almost perfect."

While he had previously admitted dropping out of contention to win was frustrating, Loeb stressed that his first Dakar was always supposed to be a learning experience.

"Obviously we have made mistakes," he said. "But do not forget that we came to learn, and we spent the first week pretty much in the lead.

"We learned so much and I think that experience will be useful in the future.

"I was running on terrain that I did not know, that I had never experienced in my life. Driving into the rivers, for example, or on the sand, for me were completely new experiences.

"We now know that there is much to work on and we understand what our weaknesses are."

Interview by Elisabetta Caracciolo

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About this article

Series Dakar
Event Dakar 2016
Drivers Sébastien Loeb
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy