Nicolas Minassian believes that the strength in depth of Peugeot's driver lineup could tip the balance against arch-rivals Audi as the two diesel-powered manufacturer teams go head to head once again at Le Mans in this weekend's 24-hour race.
The French manufacturer's 908 HDi FAP is now in its fourth year, while Audi – which was defeated last year for the first time since Bentley's 2003 victory – is expected to come back strongly with the heavily revised second-generation R15 TDI Plus at La Sarthe.
Yet Minassian believes that Peugeot, which has added Anthony Davidson and Simon Pagenaud to its 2010 lineup, is the strongest the team has brought to Le Mans.
"Do you think I am going to tell you no," he said when asked if he thought Peugeot's lineup was stronger than Audi's. "Of course, we are the best! You have got to be positive.
"The lineup has been quite the same for a while, and Anthony [Davidson] is a good addition. I think we are well prepared this year and we have a good balance across all three cars this year."
Minassian, who has been a part of the Peugeot 908 project from the beginning but has yet to achieve his dream of winning Le Mans, added that Davidson, who shares the No. 1 Peugeot with Alex Wurz and Marc Gene, has been a positive inclusion within the squad since he joined prior to Sebring.
"Anthony is a great guy which is good because there is already a good atmosphere in the team," he added. "He is a professional and you can't take anything from that. He just came in, did his job and he is fast straight away. He is just brilliant – nothing much to add. You don't even feel as if there was an adaptation time you know. It's like he has been there for the last three years, which is perfect. We all get on well together."
Minassian also added that he believed the 908 was the best car he had ever driven: "Since the day that car went on the track it has been unbelievably fast. It just got better and better. And everybody is still struggling to match the pace of it.
"Audi, they are not fools – they have struggled to match it for speed in recent years, in terms of pure performance and pace, anyway."