Sebastien Loeb will remain with Citroen until at least 2013 after signing a new two-year deal with the French manufacturer.
Despite spending his entire professional rallying career so far with Citroen, the seven-time World Rally champion had been linked with a move to Volkswagen to head up its new WRC program following the emergence of Sebastien Ogier within the team. However, Loeb believes that in order to maintain his position at the top of the rallying tree, his only option was to stay with his long-term employer.
"With the arrival of other manufacturers in the championship, the competition is going to get tougher in the years to come," he said. "All the more so with the rule changes concerning the starting order coming in 2012, as all the drivers will be fighting on a level playing field. To take the fight to them I'm putting my trust in Citroen, a team I know inside out and the DS3 WRC, the car that I helped set up with Citroen Racing."
Citroen general manager Frederic Banzet said that retaining the services of the most successful driver in WRC history was great news for the manufacturer, which has won every world title with him since 2004.
"Sebastien Loeb is a great ambassador for the make," he said. "Today, his image and ours are intimately linked. He incarnates the daring, the sporting spirit and the love of competition, values that are very dear to us.
"We're proud of his loyalty to Citroen, and of the fact that's he's continuing his career with the team that's supported him since his debut."