Ogier given suspended points penalty, fined €10,000

Sebastian Ogier has been given a suspended points penalty and a fine for receiving outside assistance on his way to a second-place finish on Rally Italy.The World Rally Championship title contender was beaten to the win by series leader Thierry Neuville, who snatched victory on the final stage.

Moments before that turnaround, Ogier had left the end of the penultimate stage without the timecard that keeps a record of his progress.

He was ordered by rally organisers to remain in position and wait for the vital piece of paperwork to be brought to him by another competitor.

Ogier was duly investigated and the stewards determined that the incident constituted outside assistance.

He has kept the result but has been hit with a suspended penalty and a €10,000 fine, which must be paid jointly by Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia.

The stewards determined that the points scored in the event – 22 for Ogier and Ingrassia and 18 for the M-Sport team – should be removed.

This punishment is suspended but will be triggered if the crew commits any further infringement before the end of the current season.

The stewards’ report determined that Ingrassia leaving the control at the end of SS19 without the timecard was “a genuine human mistake without any deliberate cheating”.

It noted that there was no performance gain and that the M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC had carried the card throughout the entire event and did not use a new one after this incident, as the same card was brought to them by another competitor.

As the result has not changed, Neuville’s advantage over Ogier at the top of the championship stays at 27 points.