Citroen plays down Loeb to Toro Rosso rumours

Sebastien Loeb will not move into Formula One this rally season and probably not in 2010 either, his team Citroen clarified on Saturday. Earlier this weekend, the 35-year-old suggested he might be a candidate to replace Sebastien Bourdais, if...

Sebastien Loeb will not move into Formula One this rally season and probably not in 2010 either, his team Citroen clarified on Saturday.

Earlier this weekend, the 35-year-old suggested he might be a candidate to replace Sebastien Bourdais, if the Toro Rosso team ousts his struggling countryman as expected.

But in a statement issued by Citroen it was pointed out that Loeb has "just one objective" for 2009 "and that is to successfully defend both drivers' and manufacturers' world rally championship crowns".

"Sebastien Loeb is under contract with Citroen until the end of the current year and negotiations for 2010 are in the process of being finalised," the statement added.

Loeb, the most successful rally driver in history, said he was "surprised" by the attention caused by his comments in L'Equipe, blaming the way they were "misquoted or taken out of context".

He said his priority is world rallying "but what would you expect a

driver to answer if asked whether he would like to drive a Formula One car?"

"For the moment, my energy is fully focused on that goal," added Loeb, who has tested for the Red Bull F1 team.

Citroen team boss Olivier Quesnel said: "Should Seb get an opportunity to race in F1, our reaction would not be to prevent that from happening, so long as it would happen after the final round."

The world rally calendar concludes in Wales in late October, meaning Loeb would be free to make his Grand Prix debut in Abu Dhabi.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Sébastien Loeb , Sébastien Bourdais , Olivier Quesnel
Teams Toro Rosso , Citroën World Rally Team