Sébastien Loeb tests the Ford Puma Rally 1 WRC 2022 from M-Sports in Spain

Sébastien Loeb, the most successful WRC driver in history, tested the 2022 Ford Puma Rally 1 WRC from M-Sport. The vehicle is designed for the new hybrid car regulations of 2022, which will come into force next year, and M-Sport was previously linked to Loeb’s possible return to the World Rally Championship.
The Frenchman’s last WRC appearance was at Rally Turkey in 2020, where he drove a Hyundai i20 WRC to third place as a part-time driver during this two-year stint with the Korean brand. However, Loeb’s last full season in the WRC was in 2012, when he was still racing for Citroën.

Since his last full season, the 47-year-old rally legend has driven in sixteen world rally championships for both Hyundai and Citroën. He also competed in the Dakar Rally and WTCC championship, not to mention World RX and Extreme E. Yes, Mr Loeb has been quite busy the past few years even though he has not competed in the World Rally Championship.

Do not see this test as a definitive sign of Loeb’s return to the World Rally Championship. If he returned for a full season, it would probably be for a tenth world title. Loeb’s skills and immense know-how could, however, be used by M-Sport to develop the Rally 1 version of the Puma.

Richard Millener, the current M-Sport team principal, said it would be “nice” if they could strike a deal with Loeb, but there are many obstacles to overcome in order for this to happen. It is not clear at this point what these obstacles are and how determined M-Sport is to overcome them.

It is worth noting that M-Sport has agreements with Adrien Fourmaux, another French rally driver, along with Gus Greensmith. Craig Breen, a former Hyundai WRC driver, was also reportedly added to the M-Sport WRC roster from 2022. These new hybrids will add a new dimension to the WRC and Loeb’s potential return, even for some events, is a special gift for motorsport fans.

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