It had been mentioned for some time but the information had not yet been formalized. This time, it’s a certainty, Sébastien Ogier will play an additional season in the WRC. The six-time World Champion and the Toyota team confirmed the news on Friday, the Frenchman having extended his contract with the Japanese manufacturer he joined this year.
After leaving Citroën a year ago – a reason subsequently invoked by the chevron brand to announce its withdrawal from the WRC – Ogier had headed for the Toyota team to replace the newly crowned Ott Tänak. Discovering a new car, the Frenchman won for his third appearance at the wheel of the Yaris WRC, during Rally Mexico in mid-March. An event which also marked the turning point of the season since it was followed by the confinement and the complete cessation of motor sports during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Championship resumed at the end of the summer with a considerably lightened schedule, which even lost the Ypres round that was initially added and was due to take place this weekend. There will only be the final round in Monza next month. Before this meeting, Ogier is 14 points behind his teammate and championship leader Elfyn Evans.
Faced with this considerably truncated season, Ogier had quickly mentioned the temptation to stay an extra season, he who had the project to end his full-time presence in the championship at the end of 2020. Not imagining leaving in this way , it therefore stacks for another year.
“This year 2020 was not as long as expected, I would say!”, he explains. “We had a short season, with only a few rallies, but it was enough to realize that I was having fun working with the team, driving this car. I’m really happy to finally confirm that I will be driving a one more year in the WRC with Toyota Gazoo Racing. “
“It was not my initial project, but this year 2020 is really special for everyone on the planet. Somehow, having had to spend a lot of time at home meant that I did not realize the last one. season that I expected to do. Ending my career on such a season was not great. That’s one of the reasons I changed my mind about my retirement. The goal is to continue to redouble our efforts in 2021 and I hope we have a better and more normal season, in order to fight for one last title. The potential to win rallies and the championship is clearly there. There is everything looking for a rally driver. All the ingredients are there. “