New Toyota Gazoo Racing signings Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans will start this season as joint number one drivers – which is just the way the pair want it.
The Frenchman starts his final WRC campaign hunting a seventh title in eight years, but he’s not chasing preferential treatment over Evans. This will be the third year in the last four that the pair have worked together, having been partners at M-Sport Ford in 2017 and 2018.
Ogier said: “My approach at the start of the season is not about thinking how can my team-mate help me. My target is always to try to focus on myself and get the job done myself – that’s the most important.
“And about the rest, you know I have never been asking at the start of the season to have any special status, we all deserve the same chance at the start of the season. Depending on what can happen through the year, the strategy can happen in the second half. But in the first half we need to focus on ourselves and bring the best to the team.”
While many in the service park expect Evans to play a support role to Ogier, the former Rally GB winner is thinking along the same lines as his more experienced colleague.
Asked what he thought the team’s approach to the year should be, he replied: “I think pretty much exactly what Seb said. As far as I’m concerned we start the season on an equal footing and ultimately it’s down to me to perform.
“We’ll see what the second half of the season brings, but to be honest I’m only focusing on doing my best. Historically Toyota is a team which has focused on giving its drivers an equal opportunity and I’m confident that approach will remain.
“Basically, it’s down to me. I need to focus on what I’m doing and not think about the other stuff,” he added.