Ogier: I shouldn’t be champion after three rallies

Toyota's star thinks a seventh title requires more events

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Toyota star Sébastien Ogier has told DirtFish the World Rally Championship needs more action on the stages in 2020 before any titles can be won.

The Frenchman tops the points table after the first three rounds of this season and would potentially be in line for a seventh world championship crown if there’s no more rallies this year.

While there is no written FIA regulation to stipulate how many or how few rallies can constitute a WRC season, both WRC Promoter and FIA rally director Yves Matton have talked of at least seven events being required.

As for Ogier, he is adamant three is not enough to be a world champion.

“Definitely not [enough],” the world champion told Colin Clark on a recent episode of DirtFish Debates. “With three rounds, for sure it’s a bit too little.”

Ogier said the sport could look to its recent past for guidance on how many events are required for a championship.

He added: “I think recently, if you look at the 1990s there was a couple of seasons where the championship was only made out of eight rallies. I think you can still call it a championship and if it happens then you will not have to talk about it as: ‘Ah, it was a shortened season and this guy or this guy don’t deserve it’.

“It will be the same for everyone. Of course we would love to do a full championship, but if it’s not happening we will have to be happy with as much as we can do.”

Ogier said he was encouraged to see the work going into re-starting the WRC. The next scheduled round is August’s Neste Rally Finland.

“I think the most important [thing] is definitely to look how the situation is evolving. I believe that if, some sports are already working on a concept, we’re going to have to have a concept to restart and I’m sure the promoter and the FIA are already trying to work on that.

“I’ve heard that it’s not that simple, definitely. International events to organise at the moment are very complicated. But I still hope definitely inside myself that we’re going to have the chance to carry on and make it look like a season. It won’t be a normal season and we shouldn’t expect to make it 10-plus rallies in a calendar.

“We have the chance that we’ve done three already, we can consider ourselves lucky in that perspective as none of the other championships have done that. We have already three races and, if we have the chance to do a couple of more, you were talking about seven or eight and that’s better than nothing.”

Defending world champion Ott Tänak echoed those sentiments, saying: “I guess in rallying, I don’t know how much of a champion you would feel if you got the championship after three rallies. Obviously, it’s not so much of a championship.”