Friday | 17 Dec 2021

WRC champions honoured as Ogier hints about 2022 plans

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia were officially crowned world champions for the eighth – and final – time at the FIA’s prize giving in Paris on Thursday evening.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing pair were honoured at the black-tie ceremony at the Carrousel de Louvre. Team principal Jari-Matti Latvala accepted the manufacturers’ trophy after the squad completed a clean sweep of the top titles.

The trophies were presented by WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel.

Ahead of the presentations, Ogier hinted that next season’s Rallye Monte-Carlo (20 - 23 January) might be his only FIA World Rally Championship outing in the early part of the year.

The Frenchman is stepping back from full-time competition in favour of a part-programme of WRC events in Toyota’s all-new hybrid GR Yaris WRC Rally1. While a Monte-Carlo start is confirmed, the rest of his schedule remains uncertain.

Ogier talked about the 2021 season and what might lie ahead in 2022

“After Monte-Carlo the chance that I don’t do rally for a while is big, I would say. Even right now I say that I need this [end-of-year] break, and now it felt like actually I didn’t have any because I am straight away in the preparation of Monte-Carlo again,” he said.

“But after Monte-Carlo I want to take this time with me, my wife and boy and then we will see what comes next.”

Ogier, 37, joked that age had not dulled the fierce competitive instincts in himself and 42-year-old Ingrassia during their final season together.

“They [the titles] are all important in my eyes but it’s been very competitive the last years, always very intense fights,” he smiled.

Jari-Matti Latvala accepted the manufacturers trophy

“We can say that over our careers, I had the feeling that it never gets easier to win the rally, probably the opposite. So being able to win five races this season and win another title, I think it has shown that we keep pushing up to the end with Julien and age had not so much impact on us yet!”

With Ingrassia retiring, Ogier will be partnered by Benjamin Veillas in 2022.

Also honoured in Paris were WRC2 winning driver Andreas Mikkelsen and Torstein Eriksen, who won the co-drivers’ title alongside Mads Østberg, along with teams champion Toksport.

In WRC3, Yohan Rossel celebrated driver success along with Maciej Szczepaniak, co-driver to Kajetan Kajetanowicz. Junior WRC champions Sami Pajari and Marko Salminen were also crowned and Hyundai 2C Compétition received the WRC Teams trophy.

Champions from the WRC's support categories were also honoured

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