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Thu 05 Jan 2023

Loeb and M-Sport mulling over options

Nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb will talk to M-Sport Ford about the potential for more WRC action in 2023.

The Frenchman drove a Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid on four events last year, leading three of them and winning the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo.

His hopes of defending last year’s Monte win were compromised by the Dakar Rally finishing two days later than it did in 2022. Last season Loeb was able to fly home for a night to take part in a one-day test before joining the round one recce. 

This year, he would land directly into reconnaissance.

“It would be more complicated to come from Dakar this time,” he said. “It doesn’t really fit so well [this time].”

Asked about his WRC intentions for the year ahead, Loeb said: “For sure, I could do some events, I could do a few like last year. We will talk about this and see what is possible, it could be interesting. For now there is nothing, because I am focused on the event I’m doing.”

With Ott Tänak already confirmed in a factory Puma this year, a Loeb return would mean M-Sport Ford running two world champions in its team for the first time in 21 years – the last time being Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz in 2002.