M-Sport wants Loeb back for WRC in 2022

Rally News

After winning the Monte Carlo Rally in M-Sport's Ford Puma, the team is looking to bring Sébastien Loeb back for more WRC events — if his schedule allows

Sebastien Loeb m-Sport Ford Monte Carlo Rally

After a successful one-off Monte, M-Sport now has Loeb for Portugal


Sébastien Loeb could be on to make more 2022 cameo appearances for the M-Sport Ford rally team after his sensational Monte Carlo win this weekend, with his one-time team boss Richard Millener saying: “We’ll certainly have discussions.”

The Frenchman, who was initially only intending to complete one rally for the Cumbrian team, had a titanic scrap on the mountain roads with his long-time rival Sébastien Ogier, the former finally coming out on top after they traded the lead several times.

The nine-time champion, who hasn’t competed full-time in rallying since 2012, was at the wheel of the team’s new Rally1 Puma for the first time. The WRC legend drove as if he’d never been away, which could lead to more appearances this season.

Loeb snow

Loeb wowed fans and his own team with his top-drawer performance in the new Puma


“I’d love to say we could do more – we will certainly have discussions with Red Bull to see if there’s anything more that we can potentially look at doing,” Millener told Motor Sport.

“It was a great adventure, we’d love to work with him again.”

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The M-Sport team boss described the virtues of the Loeb effect during his brief tenure:

“I think when the team sees a name like Séb come into coming to the ranks for one rally, it helps raise motivation without actually doing anything,” he says.

“They respect Séb – nine times champion, one of the most successful ever drivers in WRC, and he’s choosing to drive with us because he feels the car and the team that we’ve got can do the job he wants.”

Millener compared this year’s scenario to a similar situation M-Sport found itself in a few seasons ago.

“It was a bit like when Ogier came, it raised our performance overnight without actually changing anything, because people wanted to deliver,” he said.

Loeb podium

Loeb 80th win (taken with co-driver Isabelle Galmiche) makes him the WRC’s oldest ever winner


“The atmosphere in the team [in 2022] has been incredible. Séb doesn’t say much, just kind of does what he needs to do. He’s very polite, it’s been very good with the team, says thank you to everyone.

“I think everyone just enjoyed the experience for what it was, regardless of result, and the fact that we won the rally was incredible. It’s been a really magical ride with him over the last couple of weeks.”

Though Loeb is currently slated for just one rally, Millener hasn’t detected any lack of motivation.

“He openly said that he loves rallying, that’s still his favourite form of motor sport,” the team boss emphasises.

“He was intrigued and interested by the new regulations. So when we first came up with the idea of a test, it was a good opportunity to see if he wanted to go and do anything with us. When he first jumped in, he was positive about it.

“That led him to wanting to come and do the rally. So I think deep down, he’s still a rally driver.

“If he thinks the car’s good, he’ll really go for it, which is great to see. It was actually a turning point for us, because we know [it’s good] if a person of such experience, skill and ability is saying that we have a good product – we managed to showcase that and deliver it at the weekend.”

However, Loeb has kept himself busy in recent years: the Frenchman is still on a mission to win Dakar, coming second this year for Prodrive and being entered into the inaugural World Rally Raid Championship for the same team.

Sébastien Loeb Monte Carlo Rally 2022

How to please the boss: a delighted Malcolm Wilson will Loeb back in the car should the opportunity present itself


This mean logistical considerations have to be taken into account in any decision.

“We understand it’s more tricky, and he doesn’t want a full season, with plenty of other things going on,” says Millener. “So we’ll assess and if we think there’s something we can do together and we get some more funding to do that – it’d be great to see him on more events.

“At the moment, we’re gonna need a couple of weeks to recover, reset and have some chats about what we could maybe try and look to do. There’s nothing official. But honestly, if it doesn’t turn into anything more than Monte, then what a great story.”