Electric E driver Sebastian Loeb gives verdict on Lewis Hamilton’s absence from races

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Electric E driver Sebastian Loeb has insisted the team ‘understand’ Lewis Hamilton’s absence from races this season. The Brit is passionate about the sport but, due to his commitments in F1, has been unable to attend much of the action this year. That could change, however, with the decider taking place in Dorset today.

Hamilton is in charge of Team X44, who narrowly trail Nico Rosberg’s Rosberg X Racing in the race for both the Drivers’ and Teams’ championships.

The final race of the season is due to take place today in Dorset, with Hamilton having Loeb and Dakar Rally regular Cristina Gutierrez in his team.

With glory on the line, it promises to be an enthralling finale to the season so far.

And Loeb, speaking to Racing News 365 ahead of the action in Dorset, has insisted he and Gutierrez both ‘understand’ why Hamilton hasn’t been regularly able to attend.

“Lewis didn’t have time to come this year, but when you see the intensity of the championship he’s doing [in F1], for sure we understand,” he said after topping qualifying for the fifth race in a row.

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“But we have always contact with Lewis during the races – before, during or after.

“I think he’s involved, he enjoys what we are doing, he’s always following closely what we are doing, asking some questions.

“I know he’s interested in it, and that’s nice.

“We won qualifying, so it couldn’t be better than that at the moment. We are still in the fight; we are doing our best.

“It’s the fifth time of the season that we won the quali; hopefully this time we can do a bit better in the semi and the final.”

Loeb then added: “For me, I’m proud to drive for Lewis. He’s one of the most amazing drivers in the world.”

Sunday’s finale also has added spice due to the fact it’s Hamilton vs Rosberg once again.

The two men had a fierce rivalry during their time as Mercedes team-mates, often clashing on and off the F1 grid.

And Rosberg has admitted he’s excited about what the event will have in store.

“I’m excited! It’s been a great season; we’ve won three races,” he said.

“Johan [Kristoffersson] and Molly [Taylor] have done a great job, and all the team have in avoiding mistakes, problems – they’ve done really well. It’s extreme conditions always out there.

“It’s all to play for this weekend. It’s so funny that it’s Rosberg against Hamilton as well in this completely new championship here – that’s amazing.

“Both of us have awesome drivers, so it’s super cool.”

Rosberg also admitted he was loving the reaction of fans to Electric E so far, insisting the positive feedback has blown him away.

“The positive feedback from fans has impressed me the most,” he said.

“Everybody is so excited about it and following it, being like, ‘Wow, I’m really engaged’.

“It’s been really nice to see that welcome, especially on social media.

“[Going forward] the racing needs to be even more exciting – that’s an important basis of everything.

“Then with that [we will] develop the audience, the fan base, get more and more fans, you know, which will come naturally.”

On whether he’d be tempted to come out of retirement to get behind the wheel, he then laughed: “No, I’m quite happy for them to do it!.

“They’ll [Kristoffersson and Taylor] do a better job than me!”

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