MOTORSPORT NEWS Rally

Citroen return for Sebastien Ogier looking likely for 2019

Sébastien Ogier is looking likely to be on his way back to Citroen’s Velizy HQ for the 2019 World Rally Championship. The reigning WRC champion, currently an M-Sport driver, is likely to reveal his future within days. He has made it clear that his next contract will be his last before retirement. But it has the potential to stretch for three years.
Sebastien Ogier

“I think it’s getting closer,” he said although he would not divulge which team was involved. “I wanted to know more about the commitment [from the manufacturer] and we’re getting that. You know I always wanted to have this finalised soon and hopefully that can happen.”

The five-time champion started his WRC career with Citroën, with seven wins for the French outfit. But he left the team after increasing tension between him and his illustrious team-mate Sébastien Loeb. Now Citroën chief Pierre Budar has said there is no rush to announce anything for 2019.

“We have no fixed timetable for any announcement,” said Budar. “I can’t tell you it will be next week or next month. We have to make sure everything is completely clear until we make this announcement and I’m not the only one involved in this – we will do this when we are all ready.”

When asked if he would prefer a three-year deal with Ogier, Budar said: “We will see.” The French manufacturer last won a WRC title  –  with Loeb – in 2012, and has taken only seven wins since then – five of them with the now-sacked Kris Meeke. It briefly became a semi-works team but re-launched its factory team with the C3 in 2017.

Meanwhile, Ogier’s current boss Malcolm Wilson insisted he has not given up on holding on to Ogier.

“You never know what can happen,” Wilson said. “We’ve been working on this for a long time and we won’t stop. Retaining Sébastien has been the focus of our plans for next year and it remains so. We’ll keep working at it.”

Source: Motorsport Week