Sebastien Loeb claims there is more pressure on him for Rally France than in any other in his World Rally Championship career.
The Citroen driver admitted he has almost been overwhelmed by the interest in him on the World Rally Championship's first visit to the area in which he was born and grew up. If Loeb wins this event, he will win his seventh consecutive World Rally Championship. He is, however, refusing to think about Sunday, preferring to focus stage by stage.
"We know," said Loeb, "that, if everything goes perfectly, then we can win the championship and we know the last stage is in my home town and that's all great. But, I prefer not to speak so much about that, I prefer to concentrate on the rally for the next three days.
"There are some very difficult stages to come and, if it's like today, the weather can be difficult, the roads can be slippery and very tricky. Before we talk [about winning], we have a lot of work to do, but I will try to do it well."
Asked if he had seen more fans and media than on any other event, he replied: "It's more than we had in the past. I have to protect myself and prepare in my normal way. I cannot go for the autograph and the interview all of the time, but I'm sure we can find the solution."
Despite having grown up in the region, Loeb has not competed in Alsace for some time. He admitted he recognized one section of stage on the recce.
"I did one stage on the recce, the long one and I remember that a little bit from 2003," said Loeb. "But, since then I didn't drive in the area. I was four kilometers away from the place where I did my first rally. I did some sections in 1997, it doesn't help so much. I hope I can find the good feeling here. Usually, I was quite good on tarmac."