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FORMULA 1 - RALLYING

Sebastien Loeb enjoys Formula 1 testing

Text by: AFP
1 min

Five-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb swapped his Citroën rally car for a Red Bull Formula 1 at a special testing session in Barcelona. The Frenchman recorded the eighth fastest time of the day.

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Five-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb recorded the eighth-fastest time of the day while driving a Red Bull car at a Formula 1 testing session in Barcelona on Monday.

The Frenchman, who last year tested a Renault F1 car at the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit on the French Riviera, completed 82 laps of the Catalan track, recording a fastest lap of 1:22.503.

By way of comparison, Japanese driver Takuma Sato - who has over 90 F1 grands prix under his belt - set the day's fastest lap time with 1:20.763.

"I hoped that I wouldn't be too far [off the pace] and I'm especially happy with how it felt at the end today, when I improved my time," Loeb said afterwards.

"Bit by bit I started to feel more at ease and began to relax, so it went better towards the end."

A number of F1 teams were present at the circuit, with around 15 drivers performing test laps, some in the hope of earning a driving contract for the 2009 season.

Loeb, 34, has often claimed that he is "too old" to compete in F1 full-time, but is scheduled to test a Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP at Paul Ricard HTTT on November 27.

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