The Japanese Toyota team announced on Friday that French WRC driver Sébastien Ogier (37 years old next month) had extended his contract for next season.
📢 We are very happy to confirm that @SebOgier will continue with our team for another year!
💬 “I really enjoy working with the team, I enjoy driving the Yaris. The passion for motorsport of TOYOTA and Akio Toyoda himself has impressed me. ”# YarisWRC #ToyotaGAZOORacing #WRC pic.twitter.com/q2H5bvdKvA
– Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT (@TGR_WRC) November 20, 2020
In the summer of 2019, Sébastien Ogier announced that he would retire at the end of 2020, at the end of his contract with Citroën. But ultimately, the French driver will still be present in the WRC in 2021, driving a Toyota! Many things have indeed happened since the summer of 2019, with first the sudden announcement of the cessation of the WRC rally by Citroën at the end of 2019, which forced Ogier to find a new team, in the Toyota occurrence, and of course this coronavirus pandemic which spoiled the 2020 season. If the Monza rally can take place as planned in early December, there will therefore have been seven rallies this season, instead of the thirteen planned in the initial calendar . The French driver, who will turn 37 next month, did not want to stop on a truncated season and therefore decided to extend for one with Toyota.
OGIER: “FIGHT FOR A LAST TITLE”
“This 2020 season has not been as long as expected. There haven’t been a lot of rallies, but enough that I know I enjoy working with this team. I like to drive this car. I am very happy to announce that I will be driving one more season with Toyota Gazoo Racing. It wasn’t the original plan, but this year is special for the whole planet. Like everyone else, I spent a lot of time at home this year, and I didn’t have the season I expected to end my career. This strange season has not been great. This is one of the reasons I changed my mind about my retirement. The goal is to keep pushing to win. I hope we have a normal season and that I can fight for one last title. We have the potential to win the title. That’s all a pilot is looking for, ”reacted the Gapençais after the announcement of his contract extension. If Ogier evokes the 2021 title, it is because he no longer has much hope for 2020. Indeed, by winning only one rally (in Mexico), finishing second in Monte-Carlo, third in Estonia and in Italy, fourth in Sweden and abandoning in Turkey, the six-time world champion finds himself second, 14 points behind his teammate Elfyn Evans, at the top of the championship, while there are only 30 left to take at most during the Monza rally. But everything remains mathematically possible!