Red Bull Motorsports
Sébastien Loeb’s guide to winning Monte Carlo
The seven-time Monte Carlo Rally winner explains what you need to win the WRC classic.
2) Carefully selected tyres
SL: “I don’t think it’s really possible to find the perfect tyre for a stage on this rally. What you have to do is make the best choice across the loop of two or three stages. This means you will compromise in some areas – running a dry tyre on snow or full studs on a section of dry asphalt – to make good speed in other places.
"It’s not quite so complicated as it was once on this rally because we have a more limited choice of tyre and no complete slick tyre anymore – this was the nightmare to take the racing tyre and then not be able to make it up an icy hill!”
3) Confidence in the car
SL: “It’s always really important to have confidence in a rally car, wherever you are competing. But on this event it’s vital if you are hoping to win. As a driver, you need to know what you are going to get from the car when you brake for a corner or try to carry speed across the ice on a tricky section. Without the feel, it’s tough.
Sometimes you have to be brave!
"The team will set the car up to give the driver confidence, but at the same time the car has to perform as well. For example, some drivers might get more confidence from running a car a little bit softer, maybe you find some more traction and you can slide and be a little bit more progressive, but in the dry sections the car needs to be stiffer and more precise. Here, you will have less speed, it’s sure. Sometimes, you have to be brave!”
4) An understanding of the weather
SL: “The weather in the mountains can change in no time at all. I can remember times when we have left service with the car on a dry tyre only for it to start raining or snowing at the start of a stage. It’s impossible to know exactly what’s going to happen in the sky, but having an understanding of the local weather and what wind direction and wind speed might mean is really helpful. We always had a lot of help with meteo crews, but it was still a bit of a lottery.”
SL: “When the conditions are really changing a lot and you go from one dry corner into a corner full with ice, maybe you need a little bit of luck to come through without any problems at all. This is true for sure if you are on the limit and in the big fight.”
David Evans is the Rallies editor for Autosport magazine. Follow him on Twitter @davidevansrally