Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae have won 50 WRC events and three world titles between them, but their young Citroën team-mate, Sebastien Loeb, says he is not intimidated by the drivers’ reputations.

Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae have won 50 WRC events and three world titles between them, but their young Citroën team-mate Sebastien Loeb says he is not intimidated by the drivers’ reputations.

Coming into the sixth rally of the season, Loeb is not daunted about working with McRae and Sainz - his win in Monte Carlo in January gave the Frenchman the confidence to mix it with his experienced team-mates.

“I try not to think about how much experience they have,” Loeb was quoted as saying this week. “Luckily, my season began well with a win in Monte Carlo, while they were second and third. That was important psychologically: if they had came in and blown me away I wouldn’t have quite so much confidence for the rest of the season.

“Sweden and New Zealand were good for me because I showed I could run at their pace, despite having a lot less experience.

“Having Colin and Carlos as team-mates gives me a chance to prove myself. If I get to the end of the year and have done well against them in the same car, I’ll know where I stand,” he added.

Loeb has shown that he can be competitive against his team-mates, but he also gets along with McRae and Sainz on a personal level.

“Some people said that Colin can be quite cold, but that is not true,” said Loeb. “He’s very friendly and open. It must be difficult for Colin: he’s probably the most famous rally driver in the world and that can’t make it easy to have a private life.

“Carlos is happy to share his knowledge and is incredibly devoted to testing,” the Frenchman added. “He is very different from Colin. I wouldn’t say I am closer to one or the other - in character, I probably fall somewhere in the middle, and the same goes for my driving style.”