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Loeb admits his F1 chance has gone

The World Rally Championship's 'record man' Sébastien Loeb affirms that his opportunity to enter F1 has now been and gone, after his attempted grand prix debut with Scuderia Toro Rosso in Abu Dhabi last year was scuppered by red tape
Record-breaking multiple World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb – who this year added an incredible seventh consecutive drivers' crown to his extraordinary career CV – has conceded that the sole opportunity for him to join the grand prix grid has now been and gone and will likely not come again.

Just over twelve months ago, the F1 paddock was abuzz with speculation that off the back of an eye-catching test outing for Red Bull Racing at Barcelona a year earlier, 'junior' operation Scuderia Toro Rosso was lining up to parachute Loeb into one of its two cockpits for that season's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale, a race that came after the conclusion of the 2009 World Rally Championship campaign and around a circuit that was new to all of the drivers.

However, following a preparatory GP2 Series test, the plan foundered when governing body the FIA refused to grant the Frenchman a super-licence on the basis that he had not conducted enough prior circuit racing, and subsequent contact with the still-born USF1 outfit similarly came to nought.

Speaking at the 2010 Race of Champions end-of-season spectacular in Düsseldorf at the weekend, Loeb reflected that the moment to switch disciplines has now passed and that he stopped seriously pursuing the prospect once the Toro Rosso chance had been extinguished.

“It's not a possibility,” stressed the 62-time rally-winner. “It was just an idea from Red Bull last year, and finally we couldn't get to the end of the project. Now it's over. If I have the opportunity to drive a car just for fun at a test, for sure I will do it – but I don't think I will do any races.”

Behind Loeb's rationale is his observation of how former F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen has struggled to get to grips with life in rallying this year, the Finn tallying just 25 points, five top ten finishes from twelve starts and a best result of fifth place following his transition from single-seaters.

“Like you see for Kimi also, it's hard work to get the experience and for sure the other way would be the same,” mused the man who claimed Race of Champions individual glory in 2003 and 2005, and led his country to Nations' Cup honours alongside Jean Alesi in 2004. “When you see the young drivers coming into F1, they are 20-years-old and I am 36, so maybe I have to think of something else now.”



Related Pictures

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Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
podium, Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb - Red Bull Racing [Pic credit: Getty/Red Bull]
Sebastien Loeb - Red Bull Racing [Pic credit: Getty/Red Bull]
Sebastien Loeb - Red Bull Racing [Pic credit: Getty/Red Bull]
Sebastien Loeb - Red Bull Racing [Pic credit: Getty/Red Bull]
Sebastien Loeb - Red Bull Racing [Pic credit: Getty/Red Bull]
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Lewis Hamilton crowned F1 world champion at FIA Prize-Giving Gala in Qatar [Pic credit: FIA / Jean Marie Hervio / DPPI]
Lewis Hamilton crowned F1 world champion at FIA Prize-Giving Gala in Qatar [Pic credit: FIA / Jean Marie Hervio / DPPI]
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing

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jose - Unregistered

November 29, 2010 5:59 PM

Sebastien Loeb my man its not over. You still have a trump card..really its quite simple....... 1. Buy a pickup truck. one ton about the right size! 2.Call up all your sponsors, assemble all the Gold on hand, load into the pickup. drive over to Bernie's place ( bypass Kings Bridge). 3. Call the FIA, Red Bull, show them the 15+m big ones (cash). My man you will have a seat the next day, its just that simple. Seriously, its that simple... F1, Money talks, Jose



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