Sébastien Ogier was in no mood to celebrate his 48th World Rally Championship victory as he apologized to the Mexican people for any harm the WRC may have done amid the global coronavirus parademic.
Rally México was shortened due to the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide, with Sunday’s stages axed from the schedule to reduce the risk of personnel missing the reducing number of flights home.
But new championship leader Ogier didn’t think the rally should have gone ahead at all.
“A victory is a victory of course but this one feels completely different to any others because for me this rally should have not happened,” he said.
“For me, protecting human life should go first and I hope we didn’t bring any harm here to the Mexican people.
“At least I want to apologize to them that I couldn’t spend time and give autographs and pictures like every year.
“For sure I know that they still have joy to see rally cars but yeah it’s been a mixed feeling for me this weekend, so now our priority is to go home and take care of my family in this difficult time.”
Ogier won the rally by 27.8 seconds from Ott Tänak, clinching his sixth win in México and first with Toyota. He admitted he “can’t wait to celebrate” his next victory but reiterated that he could not be joyous in the current circumstances.
“For sure I can’t wait to celebrate the next one with my team,” he added.
“They have done a fantastic job this weekend so well done guys I am very happy, our first victory together.
“Like I say, today is no time to celebrate. Let’s work to get the next one as soon as possible and celebrate that one.”
Ogier, due to retire at the end of this season, also hinted he may contest next year’s Monte Carlo Rally.