Loubet can see where he’s losing out to Tänak

In his first full season, Loubet is beginning to understand where he's dropping time to his team-mate

WRC 2023

One win, two podiums, three top five finishes and fourth in the championship (four points down on the leader).

No wins, no podiums, no top five finishes and 10th in the championship (55 points down on the leader).

There’s no greater disparity between two World Rally Championship team-mates this season than M-Sport pairing Ott Tänak and Pierre-Louis Loubet.

But that’s to be expected. Tänak is a world champion and winner of 18 world rallies; Loubet has never done a full season prior to 2023.

Both may be armed with a Ford Puma Rally1, but neither has the same targets as the other.

That doesn’t stop Loubet, quite rightly, looking at both where he is performance-wise and what his needs from the car are relative to Tänak.


Tänak’s desire to mould the Puma towards his personal driving requirements is well documented by now. What’s less known is how the Estonian’s push for change affects Loubet.

Asked that very question after a seventh place finish in Croatia, Loubet revealed he has a different “driving philosophy” to his team-mate but his feedback is broadly similar.

“We have a different driving philosophy so our setup is a bit different,” Loubet told DirtFish.

“In the end we have the same thing. On the very slippy stages, if you look on Saturday night, the last one, we had a little bit the same problem. And the super-long stages of Saturday it was a bit the same.

“We lose the time a bit at the same place. So that means the car is quite similar.”

But if Tänak gets his way, surely that means the car will go away from Loubet and he may need to consider adapting his driving style to continue to get the most out of it?

“I don’t know because we have many choice and we can find a way to make it on mine,” Loubet replied.

“If they found a better diff for example, it’s better also for me.”

Instead, Loubet is more interested in bringing his own driving level up to the same standard as Tänak.

“What I see where he’s much better than me is where I see, is the consistency during the race,” Loubet said.


“Sometimes I am able to do some very good things but he never drop, you know what I mean?

“He never does a mistake with the tire, he never does a driving mistake, so I think that’s still the problem we face for the moment.

“But I am sure we can improve.”

It’s all part of the learning process.