Ogier and Mäkinen question WRC’s September restart

It's a shame for championships like the ERC to start before the WRC according to Ogier


World Rally Champions Tommi Mäkinen and Sébastien Ogier have both questioned the series’ late restart in Estonia this week.

Current championship leader Ogier and his Toyota team principal both feel the WRC missed an opportunity in not getting going sooner than the first week in September.

Mäkinen said: “I wanted to see even earlier some rallies. Honestly, we had a pretty good time to do some rallies during July and August – example Rally Finland could be a safe place to do an event, but then they didn’t want to do any rallies.

“Basically, we lost one month and now we are waiting for the second wave [of coronavirus].”

Mäkinen pointed out that the decision not to restart was hindered by a lack of unanimity on Rally Liepaja. Allegedly, Hyundai was not willing to compete in Latvia, feeling the event was too early for their WRC preparations.

He added: “The decision came with other teams who said they were not ready to restart the WRC, but they were ready to go to other events.”

Asked if he felt the series should have started sooner, Ogier replied: “Yes, it should have, that’s for sure.

“And I already mentioned that fact, that for me it’s sad to see that we were more or less the last one to restart and we didn’t use the fact that the situation was actually quite OK and under control this summer.

“I don’t have really the facts in front of me, but the truth is that was the job of some people to try to make that happen and obviously it didn’t.

“So that’s for sure disappointing for a world championship and seeing all the more regional or the ERC rallies or whatever are happening, and not ours. That’s the way it is, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”