Loeb says Sweden drop-out decision was his
Sebastien Loeb insists that it was his decision to skip next month's Rally Sweden, after Hyundai announced Craig Breen would take his place for the second round of the WRC season.
The decision to call up Breen in place of nine-time World Rally champion Loeb was announced on Monday in the wake of the latter's disappointing sixth-place Rally Monte Carlo finish.
However, the 45-year-old revealed that Hyundai team boss Andrea Adamo gave him the option of whether to participate in Sweden or not, and that he decided against it.
"I didn't have any particular desire to go [to Sweden], but as it had been decided like this with the team, I planned to respect that commitment," Loeb told French newspaper L'Equipe.
"Andrea without doubt felt something and, on Sunday evening, he asked me if I wanted to do Sweden. He told me that I could do as I felt like, but I had to decide quickly because the deadline for a change of crew was Monday.
"It didn't take me more than 20 seconds to decide."
He added: "I knew people would react by thinking I had been kicked out. [But] to compete in Sweden in shitty conditions, when the others are going to be driving like savages and you're going to have to pull the pin just to try and do something... I wasn't really feeling it."
The remainder of Loeb's 2020 schedule has yet to be confirmed, although it's understood he is again contracted for six rounds, sharing the third Hyundai with Dani Sordo.
But the Frenchman suggested he could focus more on loose-surface events for the rest of the season after his disappointing Monte Carlo showing.
"Maybe we'll think about orientating the programme more towards gravel rallies, because it's obvious I'm not managing the [required] times in the i20 on tarmac," he said.
Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images
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