Loeb took every of his 79 WRC wins between 2002 and 2018 with Elena by his aspect, and collectively the Citroen pair gained the WRC title yearly between 2004 and 2012, Loeb’s closing full season within the championship.
They’d subsequently competed collectively on all 5 of Loeb’s Dakar Rally begins, nonetheless a fraught 2021 occasion with the Prodrive-run Bahrain Raid Xtreme BRX1 that resulted in retirement led to a breakdown in relations with Monegasque native Elena
Within the build-up to the endurance occasion, Loeb was clear he needed to problem Toyota and X-raid Mini, however the occasion received off to a nasty begin when the 47-year-old was penalised 5 minutes for rushing in a managed pace zone on stage 4.
Then on stage eight, Loeb suffered two punctures and with just one spare wheel was pressured them to retire.
Chatting with DNA Sports concerning the choice to name time on his partnership with Elena, Loeb stated the harmonious in-car understanding the pair had loved at Citroen did not switch throughout to rally raids.
“I don’t query his potential or his qualities as a co-driver, particularly in WRC rally,” he stated.
“We grew up collectively within the self-discipline, we gained collectively, and lived extraordinary years. However the rally-raid may be very particular. We had been not in concord contained in the automotive.
“There have been misunderstandings, a lack of mutual belief. Generally he would inform me issues I did not imagine in. Different occasions, I used to be cussed when he was proper.
“There have been tensions and conflicts that had by no means been skilled earlier than. I do not blame him for something, however we received somewhat misplaced.”
For this 12 months’s version of the Dakar Rally, organisers issued the roadbook to co-drivers every morning previous to the beginning of every stage. Loeb stated that this posed issues for Elena which subsequently led to errors and vital time loss.
Nevertheless, Loeb admitted he had sympathy for the navigators’ further workload.
“Because the occasion moved to Saudi Arabia, the strategy has modified – you not uncover [the route] the evening earlier than on a paper road-book with which you’ll work,” he stated.
“As an alternative, they provide you an digital pill. It requires fast pondering, a capability to analyse and transcribe data.
“It is a very difficult train – Daniel did not have the chance to arrange.
“The navigation has change into so subtle that it takes an expert within the self-discipline to proceed to evolve and make a distinction.”
Stressing that Elena “stays my good friend”, Loeb added: “I actually hope he’ll be capable to transfer previous that and retain the nice recollections.
“I’ve little doubt that we’ll nonetheless have an excellent time at a rally or round a BBQ.”