Sebastien Loeb, the five-time World Rally Champion, has told Scuderia Toro Rosso that he is interested in making the switch to Formula 1 as a replacement for Sebastien Bourdais.
With Bourdais poised to be dropped by Toro Rosso following this weekend's German Grand Prix, speculation has been rife that youngster Jaime Alguersuari will be given a chance to step up to F1. However, Loeb has suggested that he, too, is a contender for the drive at some point this season -- even if a debut at the Hungarian GP is highly unlikely.
"Who knows, as long as the Formula 1 and rallying calendars don't overlap anything is possible," Loeb told French newspaper L'Equipe
. "If there is a place at Toro Rosso, I am available.
"Although I must say a grand prix is not the same as a rally. It is 70 laps and physically I'm not ready. In rallying you do not have the same conditions as an F1 driver."L'Equipe
suggested that Loeb had recently spent some time at the simulator of Toro Rosso's sister team Red Bull Racing. He impressed in a test with Red Bull last winter.
However, with Loeb locked in a tight fight for this year's rally title, an imminent move to F1 is unlikely – although it could still happen once his WRC commitments with Citroen have ended.
Olivier Quesnel, the head of Citroen Sport, moved to play down talk that Loeb would become a full-time replacement for Bourdais.
"Let me be clear, Sebastien Loeb will not replace Sebastien Bourdais at Toro Rosso, if he is transferred," he said. "Sebastien has expressed a desire to be in F1, and it does not surprise me as it is a dream come true for him. However, we must not dream."Related story:German GP Bourdais' final race with Toro Rosso?