NOVEMBER 5, 2008
Loeb to test Red Bull F1 car
On Sunday Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena claimed their fifth consecutive World Rally Championship, a feat which is unique in the history of the sport. This received little coverage as Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa stole all the headlines later the same day. The record of four consecutive titles was previously held by Tommi Makinen, who won the title four times between 1996 and 1999. Juha Kankkunen was also a four-time champion with titles in 1986, 1987, 1991 and 1993.
Loeb is to celebrate his success by testing a Red Bull Renault F1 car next week with a shakedown at Silverstone and then in Barcelona on November 17. It is not the first time the rallying star has tried his hand at F1, having tested a Renault this time last year. The 34-year-old Frenchman is too old for any serious thoughts of F1 and the test is seen as a promotional opportunity for Renault (which likes to remind people occasionally that it is a French company) and Red Bull, which is keen to sell its products in France where the market has only just opened up because of legislation that stopped sales until this summer.