The nine-time World Rally Champion, Sébastien Loeb, will be Hyundai Motrosport driver in season 2019 at WRC, with a partial agenda, according to Autosport magazine. The Alsatian will make up the team together with Dani Sordo, plus confirmed Thierry Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen; Hayden Paddon’s future is yet to be known.
Hyundai Motorsport will go for the manudacturers championship by all its means, while Monsieur Loeb is its great ace in the hole along with a Neuville who’s managed to fight all the way through for the 2018 title. Sordo is also an important driver for the team, specially after reaching such a high level this year, while Mikkelsen, in spite of his misfotunate season, is still a highy rated driver, having led several rallies this year too.
Even after showing he’s got what’s needed to get back at the top, Loeb has confirmed by this time that he’s not willing to do a full WRC season with all the cmmittment it takes. Therefore, this agreement with Hyundai would be a partial programme, which is why manager Alain Penasse has declared that “there won’t be any surprises for Montecarlo,” but he hasn’t mentiones anything regarding the rest of the season.
If Loeb signs for a partial schedule, this would open two possibilities: The first, to share car with Sordo or another driver from Michel Nandan’s team (Neuville is expected to do all rallies as he has since he entered the team in 2014) and so the Spanish driver’s programme for 2019 would be confirmed too.
Citröen Racing dclared that in 2019 it will only sign two C3 WRC, one for Sébastien Ogier and another for Esapekka Lappi, leaving no place for Loeb, Craig Breen or Mads Otsberg. This has oppened Hyundai Motrosport’s doors to give an offer to the nine-time world champion.