Door open for Sebastien Loeb Citroen WRC competition return in 2018

Sebastien Loeb could return to World Rally Championship competition in a Citroen C3 WRC, but not until the 2018 season at the earliest

Door open for Sebastien Loeb Citroen WRC competition return in 2018

Citroen has invited nine-time WRC champion Loeb to test its 2017 car in the coming days.

It will be the first time they have worked together since Citroen dropped Loeb from its World Touring Car Championship team at the end of 2015.

News of Loeb's test immediately triggered speculation of a WRC return.

Citroen team principal Yves Matton insisted this was not possible during the current season, with Andreas Mikkelsen, Kris Meeke, Craig Breen, Stephane Lefebvre and Khalid Al Qassimi all in the team's driver pool already.

"In 2017 I have no chance to let him drive a car because I don't have a car," Matton told Autosport.

"There are none available, so there is no way to drive this year.

"And, on top of that, I don't think it's a good idea in the short-term to let him drive an event.

"We know the level in the WRC for the moment is quite high and that, with this kind of car, you need a quite high number of miles to be at your level.

"If, one day, something like that could happen then it needs to be well prepared."

Matton said he was "quite far away" from a decision about 2018 drivers and currently had "no idea" but left the door open for Loeb.

"I will not tell you no, because it's not no, but I will not say yes, because it's not yes," he said of the chances of a Loeb 2018 deal.

"I can understand the attraction to bring this guy back, but like I said, if that's done then it has to be done properly."

Loeb retired from full-time WRC competition as world champion in 2012 and is currently part of Peugeot's World Rallycross and cross-country rally programmes.

The 43-year-old said he "can't wait to get back into a World Rally Car and test how the technology has changed in that discipline.

"I'm still passionate about rallying. Of all the disciplines I've tried since I retired five years ago, it's the sensation of rallying that I love most."

shares
comments
Meeke: Finland WRC struggle a hangover from Citroen benching me

Previous article

Meeke: Finland WRC struggle a hangover from Citroen benching me

Next article

Elfyn Evans now central to WRC 2018 driver market amid Toyota link

Elfyn Evans now central to WRC 2018 driver market amid Toyota link
Load comments
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

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
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Plus

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Plus

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Plus

How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021