World Rally Championship star Sébastien Loeb says he's not disappointed by the FIA's decision to not grant him a Formula One superlicence for his planned outing in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Red Bull had planned to put Loeb in a Toro Rosso car for the race, a onetime outing that would have generated much publicity. However, despite Loeb's recent Le Mans experience, it was deemed that he is not qualified to participate. Superlicences normally are issued only to Formula Three (and now Formula Two) champions and those who have sufficient GP2 experience.
"I take things as they come," Loeb said on his Web site. "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.
"In fact, Citroën 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 superlicence, it has dragged on until yesterday.
"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."
Loeb concedes that the chance will probably not come again.
"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 superlicence this time; I do not see how I could get it without preparation and the necessary tests in F1.
"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.
"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!"