Nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb has admitted he remains open to offers for a return to the World Rally Championship – with the Frenchman keeping an ear out for a call from Cockermouth.
Loeb completed a two-year deal with Hyundai Motorsport by finishing Rally Turkey on the podium last year. He is currently committed to Prodrive, which includes a Dakar Rally program and driving for Lewis Hamilton’s X44 squad in Extreme E.
But, it seems, there’s still room for the roads where he made his name and became the world’s most successful rally driver in history.
If Malcolm needs somebody one day, not for all of the season or half the season, why not?Sébastien Loeb
Asked by DirtFish if he was still interested in driving in the WRC, he replied: “I didn’t think about it. But maybe. I didn’t look for it.
“The main thing for me this year is the Dakar and XE, these are the two main programs for me.
“Maybe if somebody calls me, if Malcolm [Wilson, M-Sport managing director] asks me to do a rally and he needs me, then why not?”
A possible return to Loeb’s beloved Monte Carlo Rally would be complicated by Dakar, but Loeb added: “It’s not only Monte in the season, there are other rallies. If Malcolm needs somebody one day, not for all of the season or half the season, why not?
“I will not go to Finland, but Turkey was good for the memory last year.”
Loeb came close to driving for Wilson in 2005 when he visited M-Sport and tested a Ford Focus RS WRC04.
“The discussion was a serious one back then, we got down to what he’d need and how it could work,” Wilson told DirtFish. “ It’s nice to hear that he’s still interested!
“Obviously my priority is putting in place the full-time driving line-up. But this is, for sure, something we’ll look at.
“Séb’s somebody I’d always keep in touch with.”