He dominated Rally México and he’s currently leading the 2023 World Rally Championship, but Sébastien Ogier is adamant he will not return full-time in a bid to win a record equaling ninth world title.
Ogier’s dominance on the gravel stages of México sparked questions in the service area about whether the Toyota driver might be looking for a full-time return now that he’s leading the championship.
But the eight-time WRC champion was quick to squash any hope of him returning to battle it out in a bit to equal Sébastien Loeb’s record, stating that he’s happy with the current program he has as it is.
“I won’t change my answer honestly,” Ogier said to DirtFish when it was asked if he’s now inclined to stay around and fight for the title outright.
“I’m happy the way I am at the moment.
“I enjoy the rally, I have a lot of fun, but I still have no plan to win the championship.
“So yeah, we’ll be on the next one [Rally Croatia], but I can already confirm that I won’t be doing the one after.”
And Rally Croatia played a part in Ogier’s motivation to push hard on the powerstage in México.
“Yeah I think we confirmed that [I will be doing Croatia] and that’s why we tried to score some points on the powerstage for the best starting position on Croatia,” he said.
“I knew we were very close, I think before the powerstage between Thierry [Neuville] because I knew Elfyn [Evans] had a problem, so I was guessing Thierry will pass him unfortunately.
“Elfyn almost managed to stay ahead, he would have deserved it. But that’s part of the game.
“So I knew I needed to score some points to lead the championship and try to have the best position for the next one.”
For the moment, it’s not looking like there will be any change to Ogier’s plans, but if he did decide to make a full-time return, there’d be no complaints from reigning champion Kalle Rovanperä, who said he’d definitely be in support of it.
“Yes why not?” He said.
“It’s always good to have these drivers at least in our team.”