Sébastien Ogier apologized to recently appointed Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal and former team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala for crashing during testing for the Monte Carlo Rally.
Ogier had a high-speed off while testing in the St-André-de-Rosans region east of Gap last week, levelling a tree in the process.
Both Ogier and co-driver Julian Ingrassia were taken to hospital for a check-up but came away from the incident uninjured. Latvala told DirtFish that old team-mate Ogier later apologized for the accident.
“He had the accident in the test and he sent me a message saying ‘Can we talk?’ and I said ‘Absolutely’” Latvala recounted.
Ogier went on to say in their discussion that “I think at this point I have to apologise to my boss, I did a mistake” to his team-mate of four years at Volkswagen between 2013 and 2016.
“And I said ‘No problem, I have done the same myself!’” Latvala continued.
“So this was quite a nice way to start and we were talking for about half an hour.
“And the fact is, I said that ‘You are a seven-time world champion, you know how to win the championship, I cannot tell you what you have to do’.”
During their time as team-mates Ogier consistently outscored and outshone Latvala, adding to the potential for uneasiness in their new respective roles, although the Finn seems confident that between them they can create a respectful atmosphere conducive to success.
“He knows exactly himself what he needs to do to win the championship.” Latvala said.
“The only thing I can do for him is just to make sure that our team is developing and working to make sure the car is reliable; the car is strong in the events and that we don’t get problems. That’s the biggest part I can influence.”