The separation of Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena should be described as another adversity that puts their friendship to the test. “Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them” – these are the wise words. This cold call to Daniel Elena threatened to break the proven friendship union. The news made the resonance among rally fans. Today Sebastian Loeb explains the reasons that led him to part ways with his co-driver Daniel Elena, with whom he became nine times World Rally Champion.
What was the reason for the split of Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena?
Sebastian Loeb contested his fifth Dakar last January, in the first edition of the team Bahrain Raid Xtreme, managed by Prodrive, with Nani Roma as a partner. But the hardships began too soon for him and his long-time co-driver Daniel Elena. At this year’s edition of the Dakar, the organizers issued the roadbook to the co-drivers every morning before the start of each stage. Loeb said that this posed problems for Elena, which subsequently led to errors and significant time losses. Today, he clarifies Elena tried to adapt to the raids and did the maximum.
“Since the event moved to Saudi Arabia, the approach has changed – you no longer discover [the route] the night before on a paper road-book with which you can work,”
“Instead, they give you an electronic tablet. It requires quick thinking, an ability to analyse and transcribe information.
“It’s a very complicated exercise – Daniel didn’t have the opportunity to prepare.
“The navigation has become so sophisticated that it takes a professional in the discipline to continue to evolve and make a difference.” – Sebastian Loeb to DNA Sports
Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena: Just another adversity
In almost every interview Sebastien Loeb tries to make it clear that he is disappointed with the situation and Daniel Elena was a bad looking side.
“Remains my friend”- stressing Loeb and adding “I really hope he will be able to move past that and retain the good memories.
“I have no doubt that we will still have a good time at a rally or around a BBQ.”
What about the World Rally Championship?
Sebastien Loeb has no doubts about two things: he is determined to resume the rally – as soon as the pandemic situation improves and he has a clear idea of the schedule of the French championships. Loeb still hopes to drive one or two rallies in France. His next WRC will be with Daniel Elena only.
“I do not question his potential or his qualities as a co-driver, especially in WRC rally,”
“We grew up together in the discipline, we won together, and lived extraordinary years. But the rally-raid is very specific. We were no longer in harmony inside the car.
“There were misunderstandings, a loss of mutual trust. Sometimes he would tell me things I didn’t believe in. Other times, I was stubborn when he was right.
“There were tensions and conflicts that had never been experienced before. I don’t blame him for anything, but we got a little lost.” – Sebastian Loeb to DNA Sports
Someone says, “Reconciliated friendship is a wound that is badly healed.” Allegedly this split has affected the mutual trust of the two, but Seabstien Loeb and Daniel Elena also came through fire and water. This indication that all situation is only a temporary nuisance.