Loeb: No plans at the moment for 2022 WRC return

Sebastien Loeb says he doesn’t have any plans for a World Rally Championship return next year but admits a drive in the new hybrid machinery would be difficult to refuse. 

The nine-time WRC champion last appeared in the championship in 2020 when the Frenchman joined Hyundai Motorsport for the Monte Carlo and Turkey rounds, finishing sixth and third respectively.

This year is the first time since 2017 that Loeb has been absent from the championship as the most successful driver in WRC history has focussed on a Dakar rally programme with Prodrive, and a campaign in the all-new electric-powered Extreme E series, driving for Lewis Hamilton’s Team X44 alongside Cristina Gutierrez. 

However, Loeb has continued to follow the WRC closely and has been excited by the championship’s move to hybrid Rally1 rules for next year.

While intrigued by the new regulations, the  47-year-old says he has “no plan at the moment” to drive in the WRC next year, but would be keen for an opportunity. Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport are all yet to confirm their full driver rosters for next season. 

“There is no plan at the moment,” Loeb told Motorsport.com when asked about the chances of an WRC outing next year.

Asked if he had held any talks with teams, he added: “Not especially but it is always nice to drive in WRC. It is difficult to say no because the sensation you get in WRC is just amazing.”

Read Also:

Loeb does however back WRC’s hybrid move and believes the power the new specification cars will have at their disposal will be impressive.

“I think it is a good way and for sure they [the WRC] needed to do something,” he said.

“I think hybrid is what suits the discipline the best as fully electric would not be good. I think the power the car will have with this hybrid system will be impressive, so it will be great to follow.”

Loeb is set to return to the Dakar Rally next year via the Prodrive-run Bahrain Raid Xtreme squad after retiring from the operation’s event debut in January.

Last weekend saw the 79-time WRC event winner return to the wheel of the BRX Hunter for the Baja Aragon event in Spain, where he finished seventh overall, having held a commanding three minute lead into the final stage before a technical issue struck.  

Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

shares
comments

Related video

Ogier plans to help Toyota as much as possible with 2022 WRC car
Previous article

Ogier plans to help Toyota as much as possible with 2022 WRC car

Next article

Katsuta gets new WRC co-driver as injured Barritt continues recovery

Katsuta gets new WRC co-driver as injured Barritt continues recovery
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
21 h
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Prime

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Prime

How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Prime

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Prime

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Prime

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Motorsport.com went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021