Abu Dhabi’s new Formula One circuit has given the Middle East seemingly unbeatable bragging rights as home to the world’s most modern and lavish track.
Marcus Gronholm’s one-off return to the world rally championship in Portugal in April will create a few headlines but do little to alleviate one of the sport’s persistent headaches.
That can be encapsulated in two words – Sebastien Loeb. The Frenchman is simply too good, a towering Schumacher-like talent who ranks as the most successful and probably the greatest rally driver of all time and whose dominance is definitely a double-edged sword.
Loeb is down to earth, likeable and altogether a credit to the sport. But his dominance is also, whisper it quietly, a bit of a yawn for those who don’t work for Citroen or speak French as a first language and who would love to see someone beat him occasionally.
Loeb has won the first two races of the season and can nail a sixth successive title this year. When he retires, people will doubtless wax lyrical about how fortunate they were to have witnessed such a once-in-a-lifetime talent. (more…)