Tuesday | 28 Jul 2020

Ogier plan for new deal welcomed

Sébastien Ogier’s desire to extend his FIA World Rally Championship career into 2021 has been applauded from around the sport.

The six-time world champion planned to retire at the end of 2020. However, he said earlier this month that the Coronavirus-shortened season wasn’t the way he wanted to exit and he would start discussions with Toyota Gazoo Racing to add another year to his stay.

Ogier said: “This year is complicated, so I plan to do one more season. I currently have a one-year contract, but we have started to talk about it with the team.”

While no formal announcement has been made, Toyota team principal Tommi Mäkinen has previously made clear his wish to keep the current championship leader in a Yaris into 2021.

Rich Millener, Ogier’s former boss at M-Sport Ford, said the Frenchman would continue to provide a benchmark if he extended his WRC stay.

Video: WRC Onboard of the Week - Sébastien Ogier

“The sport needs drivers like Séb,” said Millener. “He is that benchmark performer. When you get a result against somebody like him then you’ve genuinely earned it. At the same time, it’s better for the sport to have as many top drivers as possible. What we don’t want is a few guys dominating.

“We worked with him for two years and had a lot of success in that time. He’s a good guy and the WRC needs people like him and Julien [Ingrassia, co-driver].”

Hyundai Motorsport driver Thierry Neuville, who has finished second to Ogier in four WRC campaigns, echoed those sentiments.

The Belgian said: “It’s definitely a good thing for the championship and for him. It would be the right decision to stay, you don’t want to end your career on a season like this one. We need names like Séb. It’s very positive news for the championship.”

WRC Onboard of the Week

WRC Onboard of the Week

The French crew Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (M-Sport Ford WRT) underway on SS18 Sassari-Argentiera at Rally Italia ...

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