World rally star denied superlicence to race in Abu Dhabi
23 October 2009

Five-time world rally champion Sebastian Loeb has admitted that his dreams of racing in Formula One are probably over.

The Frenchman had been keen to race in the season’s finale in Abu Dhabi next weekend, and had been strongly tipped to link up with Red Bull’s junior team, Scuderia Torro Rosso.

However, he had his hopes dashed when the FIA deemed that he did not fulfil the criteria for superlicence, which gives permission for drivers to race in F1.

Loeb now thinks his F1 ambitions will now have to be put on hold forever.

“I told myself that I will probably only have one opportunity like this in my life,” the rally ace told his official website.

“Finding an opportunity like that again seems very unlikely. All this put together, I do not think this opportunity will present itself again.”

Despite giving up on a race switch, Loeb has admitted that he would love to test an F1 car again.

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“If my boss lets me go, yes," he said. "It's always a pleasure to drive an F1 car. If I have another opportunity to get back into a single-seater car, I will not pass it up.”

Tom, Sharpe

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24 October 2009

That's a terrible shame, because he is a colossal talent. At first I thought the FIA has missed a trick; that he would have brought something to Formula One almost the equal of a Schumacher return, but having read his response, I see that he is being very magnanimous and modest in declaring himself unfit to cope with the demands of F1.

I still believe that had the circumstances been different, with a sensible and intelligent level of testing brought back into the sport, he would have had the opportunity to fulfil the Superlicence criteria.

His response has been that of a gentleman, and despite his self-effacing honesty, the fact remains that he is an incredible driver.

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