Newly-crowned world champion Sébastien Ogier has admitted that two heavy crashes in Finland made him consider retirement from the WRC.
Family man Ogier, who sealed his fifth consecutive world title in Britain on Sunday, insisted he has still to decide his future. Frenzied speculation has linked him with a new deal at M-Sport, moves to Citroën or Hyundai, or even retirement.
In the aftermath of defending his title at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, which the 33-year-old Frenchman said was the most emotional moment of his rally career, Ogier took time to reflect on what happens next.
He suffered two big crashes in a little over a week at July’s Neste Rally Finland, one in testing and the other in the opening day of the event. Asked if he had thought about quitting the WRC at the end of this season, the 33-year-old Frenchman said:
“Consider, yes. Of course, this kind of moment (winning the title) makes me think about the risks you take, especially like in the test. I couldn’t do anything with this crash, it was just bad luck.
“Big rocks in the road, a flat out corner and I had no way to avoid it. It was a big crash coming to me.”
Ogier acknowledged that since his wife, German TV sports presenter Andrea Kaiser, gave birth to their first child, Tim, in June last year, he appreciated family life at his Geneva home even more. But the lure of the WRC remained a big motivation in his decision.
“I am enjoying a lot of time at home with my son and my wife, of course you can see life differently, but when you make a weekend like this….
“I’m not winning this weekend, but it was a big pleasure behind the steering wheel and also we have the fastest WRC car ever. It’s good fun as well.
“I’m always analysing a lot of things in my way of managing the championship and the way of managing my life in general, so I don’t make the decision easily. I’m still working on different options. I’m honest with you, right now I haven’t really decided,” Ogier added.