Reigning World Rally champion Sébastien Ogier has tested a Formula E car as a demonstration in New York – something he described as a “cool experience”.
Ogier has regressed his WRC commitment in 2022, undertaking a part-time program instead of a full-time campaign in a bid to explore new motorsport opportunities while simultaneously scaling back his calendar in order to enjoy more family time.
It’s been a troubled season in a rally car however as Ogier has failed to win any of his three starts, although he was leading both the Monte Carlo Rally and Safari Rally Kenya before punctures set him back.
Ogier’s big ambition this season was to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours, which he did earlier this year for Richard Mille Racing, after which he elected to bring his World Endurance Championship program to an end.
While his old WRC rivals were out competing on Rally Estonia, Ogier got the chance to sample a Gen2 Formula E car – his first drive in a single-seater since he got the chance to drive a Red Bull RB7 at the Red Bull Ring five years ago.
“It was a cool experience,” Ogier said.
“After doing 15 years of rallying I’m looking a little bit at the moment for some new experiences and I got the proposal to come here and make some laps with the car.
“Obviously it’s just a demo car and probably not the latest spec like they have, but still it gave me a view of what it is. And I think racing between walls is always exciting, so it was fun.”
Ogier appeared to be exploring the limits on his run though as he got quite close to the walls on the edge of the temporary circuit.
“Not too close luckily because I’d have looked a little bit stupid to crash it,” he explained.
“In four laps obviously you don’t learn too much about it but still it gave me an idea. I’m thankful that I got these laps.”
Ogier’s demo was part of the New York e-Prix weekend – the US city hosting rounds 11 and 12 of the 2021-22 Formula E season.
There is no indication that it could lead to any race drives in the future, but Ogier’s 2022 calendar currently remains empty – publicly, at least – although he is expected to do at least one more round of the WRC.
That could be at September’s Acropolis Rally Greece, as that’s where fellow multiple WRC champion Sébastien Loeb is understood to next return. Thus far Ogier and Loeb have aligned their schedules, competing against one another in Monte Carlo, Portugal and Kenya.