Sebastien Ogier is disappointed he will not be able to compete against former teammate Sebastien Loeb on a "fair deal" in the 2013 World Rally Championship.
Loeb will only compete in four WRC events next year after securing his ninth consecutive World Championship with Citroen this season. Ogier will start the year as one of the favourites for the title when Volkswagen makes its full-time debut in the WRC with the Polo R.
Loeb and Ogier were team-mates at Citroen in 2011 and had a strained relationship, resulting in the latter leaving to join VW. With Ogier having lacked experience when last pitched against Loeb, he feels it is a shame that they will never get a more equal season-long head-to-head.
"It's a shame that he stopped his career, but we have to accept it," said Ogier ahead of the Race of Champions in Bangkok. "He's been in this championship for a lot of years. Obviously, he's won everything, a lot of victories and a lot of titles, so maybe he lost a bit of motivation now.
"But it would have been nice to compete against him on a fair deal this time. But that's what it is. He will be there a few times next year."
Ogier ruled out letting Loeb go in 2013 rallies as he will not be a title threat and said he would still be the benchmark to beat.
"For sure we will not look at him like a normal competitor because he will not do all the championship, but still if we have the possibility to fight with him we will do it," said Ogier.