• Aug 27th 2009 at 7:58AM
  • 14
New-for-2010 Formula One World Championship entrant USF1 has stated several times its commitment to finding American drivers. That was, at least, until representatives for five-time World Rally Championship-winning driver and Frenchman Sebastien Loeb called to make some inquiries. At the moment this is just questions, two sides exploring what might be possible. But USF1 sporting director Peter Windsor did say, "We are looking more on the American side but are going to take him seriously."

On the other side, Citroen, the team Loeb drives for, has several times tried to put down just such speculation. The last time there were rumors of a switch to F1 for Loeb, both Loeb and Citroen said it was nothing. Citroen hasn't said anything about this latest news, but Loeb said he's "on the verge of extending [his] contract with Citroen," and that this is just about filling in when the F1 and WRC schedules don't conflict.

Not long ago it would have been considered absurd to have a part-time driver that just shows up for race weekends, and it would be pretty unusual even now. But with the in-season testing ban, it won't make as much difference as it used to. And besides, he probably couldn't be worse than Luca Badoer is at the moment... Hat tip to James!

[Source: F1 Live | Image: Roni Rekomaa/AFP/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      You're going to find an American driver better than Loeb? I can't see how.

      Look, I don't even like the guy, just because he's boring as heck. But he is a winner. He's torn up WRC and he did a good job at Le Mans. If I were Windsor, I'd give him consideration.
      • 6 Years Ago
      While I truly respect Sewb Loews abilities it does not make sense given USF1's stated goals.

      PW has always stated they want in 2010 a younbg gun American driver PLUS an experienced F1 driver to help ease their way in and develop the car with current knowledge. It would also be a way to espatblish how well the team is doing given a known performance factor.
      i.e. you put in a Bourdais or a Trulli8 and you know what lap times they can make already so you know how fgood your car is. You put in a Loeb + a new to F1 American and you have zero yardsticks.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Bourdais like a particular handling set up and STR never could give him anything like that set up.
        Bourdais is an indecently fast OW driver if he can get a car he likes. He fully admits that he has a weakness of not getting the best out of a poor car and/or the wrong set up.

        Note: Peter Windsor has always been a fan of Sebastian Bourdais smooth driving style and the way he sets up for corners and powers thru. Ergo PW may well give SB a test drive of his new F1 car. First Bourdais has very current knowledge of 2009 F1 cars and can be relied upon to give the feedback. USF1 will badly need. He would also probably be a very inexpensive driver. He got paid $2++mm from STR on his 2009 contract, and badly wants another chance.

        Summary: Overall SB can be a very fast man in a car which suits him and he has the current knowledge of how F1 cars feel and perform. All of this USF1 needs. I would be quite surprised if PW doesn't give SB an initial test in his new car.robably a freebie all ways around. After that I expect USF1 to round up a couple of experienced F1 drivers and see how they perform under similar conditions. The Badoer experience might well rule out ALL exisiting F1 testers so this reduces the field somewhat.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If Bourdais couldn't cut it in a Toro Rosso, he's not going to make it in a USF1 car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! It feels like 1776 all over again! We don't need some hot pants Lafayette coming over here to show us how to race....there are plenty of good US drivers!
        • 6 Years Ago
        You should have more respect for the french. If it wasn't for them, you would still live in a british colony without that pretty lady with the torch. If you get Loeb for the usf1 team you should consider yourself very lucky.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't understand this obsession of finding a driver who is American. Maybe it has to do with our American pride, but isn't having a US team return to Formula One pride enough? I'll definitely be cheering on USF1 next year no matter what, but I want to see it successful rather than outfitted with "Made in USA" only. If you can get someone like Sebastien Loeb, you take him unless you have someone better! And with all due respect, drivers like Danica Patrick aren't the same caliber as Loeb (and I know I say this much to the chagrin of IRL fans everywhere).
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd prefer to spectate with Loeb in a rally car, but I'll take what I can get. I can see Loeb tiring of rally after so many wins and championships. I'm sure the master would like a new challenge.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I've been following Seb's career since the beginning, and I see him as another Tony Stewart type, a guy who could drive in just about any series and do well in it. I wouldn't mind seeing him mix it up with guys like Alonso and Massa. I'd like to see him get some Le Mans wins as well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If Villeneuve hangs around long enough he may get that ride. It seems the potential stars like Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick don't want to take a shot at it. Both have indicated that they have no interest in doing anything outside the United States.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have so much respect for him, he is one the best drivers in the world. Agree with xspeedy, he probably wants a new challenge, he has nothing left to prove in WRC.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Loeb is a fantastic racer, and I would never speculate negativly on his ability in any series, but one of the things he is known for is his ability to drive a coarse fast while having never seen it before. This is not the trump card in F1 that it is in Rallye.
      • 6 Years Ago
      as nice as it would be for him to jump disciplines, i don't think he would do it for more than a demo or marketing thing. the guy is the master of rallying, the best ever! i'm sure he would do well in an F1, but i doubt he would take the task as seriously as he does rallying.
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