When you’ve won nine world titles, 72 world rallies and pulverised every single record in the history books, what have you got left to prove?
That’s exactly what Red Bull Citroën driver Sébastien Loeb is asking himself at the moment – and he’s not the only one.
The whole of next year’s driver market revolves around the decision the multiple world champion takes. Loeb has said he'll make up his mind over the next couple of weeks and for the time being, it seems like he’s torn.
“I’m bored of things like the recce and travelling,” the Frenchman admits. “So it’s a question of deciding whether or not those drawbacks outweigh the enjoyment I still feel from driving. There’s also the question of the risks in the sport, I suppose. I see myself doing something a bit less risky in the future – but not necessarily next year."
"I don’t need the money though, and what is there still to prove? Whether I’ve got eight, nine or 10 titles doesn’t make much difference to me. And why not do something else before I get too old? These are all things that are going through my head at the moment.”
So can we infer from this that the 38-year-old rally star is thinking of hanging up his helmet at the end of this year? Not a bit of it…
“Whatever happens, I’ll still be doing some form of motorsport, just to feel the adrenaline of driving,” he points out. “But I’ve not said that I’m stopping rallying at the end of the year, and I definitely don’t want to go against the interests of Citroën. On the other hand, I can’t keep on driving just to please other people. So if I feel that I don’t want to carry on, then there’s no point in doing it reluctantly. But if the desire is still there, then I will continue. When I do something, I do it at 100 per cent.”
So there you have it – will he stay or will he go? It won’t be too long before we find out – maybe before Rallye Deutschland. But in the meantime, it’s Rally Finland this weekend and there are no prizes for guessing who won today’s qualifying stage.