Sébastien Loeb Racing: A podium finish in Baku to end the season
Despite adversity and a unique city circuit, the Alsacian team showed once again its tenacity.
Echoing the season as a whole, the last FIA GT Series meeting of 2013 did everything it could to bring Sébastien Loeb Racing to its knees. Despite adversity and a unique city circuit, the Alsacian team showed once again its tenacity and its unwavering quest for good results.
Sébastien Loeb, McLaren MP4-12C #9 : « It’s good to finish with another podium result, even if it doesn’t have quite the same taste when it comes after a stewards’ decision. Alvaro had clearly passed into second place before the contact. In the end, we were returned our second place finish after starting from the 14th position ! I was able to sneak by at the start of the second race and we made a huge comeback. In the first race, I was pushed and afterwards the car was difficult to drive. I was able to hold off attempts to pass me but not more than that. The team made a small mistake on the grid, which cost us a penalty, which we will learn from. That said, the guys did a great job in the pits. They worked really hard and it’s a just reward that they won the Pit Stop Challenge.
« More generally, I came to the FIA GT Series to discover racing in groups on circuits before going to WTCC. At the start of the season I was left yearning for more, but in the second half of the season I’ve learned a lot. Like here at Baku where the experience was good for me, with a lot of battling for position in a group setting. That’s what I came for and it will serve me well in 2014.
« Globally, I think the team did a good job this year. We were sometimes unlucky, and there were a few errors as well. We’ve seen points where we can improve upon, correct and refine. In terms of outright performance, we were there, the driving squads and the McLaren MP4-12C. The final outcome is rather positive. We can’t forget that this was our first year racing at this level, with this car. We learned a lot and we will debrief well in order to come back even stronger next year. »
Alvaro Parente, McLaren MP4-12C #9 : « We were given back our podium finish by the stewards. I don’t know who made the contact, but I know that I had passed into second place and was braking heading into the chicane. We were fighting for the win. Perhaps if I had not committed a small error when coming out of the pits with cold tyres, we could have done a bit better…It’s a rather frustrating season that’s coming to a close, with tyre punctures, contact with other competitors…but we were fight for first place right from the start of the season. It was a good experience, a good result and in the end, a good season with a good team.»
Andreas Zuber, McLaren MP4-12C #10 : « Sad weekend ! We had a good qualifying session and our top five position left us hoping for a podium or better. We had a lot of hope. Unfortunately, just before the qualifying race, we suffered a mechanical failure, which kept us from racing. By not taking part in that race, we logically had to start the championship race from the last row. »
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