Conducted and provided by Sebastien Loeb's official website.
Q. The possible adventure in F1 has come to an end today. Are you disappointed?
Sebastian Loeb: Not necessarily. I take things as they come. Anyway, there are no regrets because there was no ambition. The only regret I have is that I'd have had fun doing it. It was a fun project. But hey, that's how it is! At least now I know. There are no more questions. It would have kept the journalists busy: they have been able to make assumptions, analyses, etc. ... it will have kept them well occupied right up until today.
Q. Driving in F1 requires well above average fitness. Did you follow special training?
SL: I tried to work on my endurance and my neck. All this without knowing if it was going to happen or not. It was with a view to prepare myself seriously just in case... And then I told myself that whatever my decision, this would prepare me anyway for the racing track, especially the 908. Despite all my efforts, I could not claim to be ready. F1 is so specific! Physically, it is much harder than rallying and I know I would have had a hard time. Regarding the heart, you have to realise that the heart beats at over 180 beats per minute driving an F1 car! My physical abilities, among others, made me doubt my ability to meet this challenge.
Q. You have carried out a lot of tests, trials and races on racing tracks (endurance, Carrera Cup, F1 tests) and it was not enough for the super licence?
SL: The regulations for getting it are very precise. I do not meet any of the conditions stipulated in the regulations. So it's logical that I failed to obtain such a license. It's like that, it is the rule, it is the decision of the FIA. There's no crying foul.
Q. Is it a good thing to have the outcome of this matter before the start of the rally?
SL: In fact, Citroen had urged Red Bull to have a definitive answer by Monday night just so we could be relaxed about this Grand Prix question. Initially, this was to have been announced on Sunday evening, but because of the problem with the super licence, it has dragged on until yesterday.
Q. Has it inconvenienced you during your preparation for the rally of Great Britain?
SL: Not at all. The rally has always been my priority. The participation in a Grand-Prix was a bonus; a gift that Red Bull made to me. It did not work out, it is not so serious. I will certainly have the opportunity in coming years to do such fun things again.
Q. What does Olivier Quesnel think about this matter?
SL: I do not know, we have not spoken yet. He agreed to my participation in this last Grand-Prix provided it didn't interfere with the WRC championship. And he's not crazy; I know he prefers that I drive a Porsche or an F1 car than a motorcycle or an ATV (all terrain vehicles or mountain bikes)! He knows that I have less risk of getting hurt! (Editor's note: his mountain bike accident in 2007).
Q. Have you definitely crossed off the thought of participating in an F1 Grand Prix?
SL: I told myself that I will probably only have one opportunity like this in my life. That was why I accepted. There, it is gone. I did not get the super licence this time, I do not see how I could get it without preparation and the necessary tests in F1. All the more since the two championships would have been finished. Button won his world title last weekend, and the WRC title is at stake this weekend. So, my participation would not have got in the way of either championship. Finding an opportunity like that again seems very unlikely. All this put together, I do not think this opportunity will present itself again.
Q. On the other hand, if you had an offer to test in F1, would you go?
SL: If my boss lets me go, yes! 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.
Q. Do you realise that your possible participation in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has created an incredible buzz?
SL: Yes, I know. Anyway, you should not have expected me to get a result. It was clearly impossible. Don't think I am saying this with false modesty. I know what I lack when I'm on a race circuit: on average, a second a lap. I imagine that in F1, there would have been a little more. I know that a World Rally Champion lining up for a Grand Prix creates a stir. I also know that everything would have been analyzed, but after all there is not so much to analyze. It was just a privilege offered to me by Red Bull, that is all!
Q. In any case, it would have been a dream for many fans...
SL: And me too! But hey, that's how it is. Now I will focus only on Rally Great Britain with my sights set on the world title. It is just as exciting or more exciting than an F1 Grand Prix.