Citroen confirms Ogier's return for 2019 WRC

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Citroen confirms Ogier's return for 2019 WRC
By: David Evans
Sep 28, 2018, 12:17 PM

Citroen has confirmed Sebastien Ogier will return to the team to drive a C3 WRC in next year’s World Rally Championship.

The Frenchman will depart M-Sport Ford World Rally Team following Rally Australia in November and begin testing a C3 WRC soon after.

Ogier said: "I'm really enthusiastic about the prospect of taking on this new challenge with Citroen. In fact, I can't wait, especially as I haven't forgotten that this is the team that first gave me the opportunity to compete in the world championship."

The challenge of becoming just the second driver - following Juha Kankkunen - in the sport's history to win a drivers' title with three different manufacturers was high on Ogier's agenda for the move.

He added: "There were various factors that influenced my decision.

"I really like the idea of working again with people with whom things went pretty well a few years back and I'm also excited by the chance to try and pull off the challenge of becoming world champion with a third different manufacturer.

"And, although I'm not taking anything for granted, I am convinced that the car has definite potential and I have great faith in the people at Satory."

There's been no mention of the length of Ogier's contract, but Motorsport.com sources indicate a single-season agreement with an option to extend it to two or potentially three years.

Either way, Ogier has already made it clear this will be his last contract in the World Rally Championship, meaning he will end his rallying career in the same place he started it.

Citroen team principal Pierre Budar said Ogier's return after a seven-year absence would come as a boost to the team which hasn't won a WRC round since Kris Meeke's victory in Spain last October.

Budar said: "This excellent news is, first and foremost, about people embarking on a journey, a human adventure, united by the desire to write a new chapter together in our history.

"I'm obviously delighted to welcome Sebastien and Julien [Ingrassia, co-driver] back into the fold!

"The fact they are joining us is an incredible boost for the whole team. Everyone is going to be even more motivated than ever. We're already pulling out all the stops to make sure our second stint working together adds to our great history in the sport and showcases the Citroen brand. We feel good!"

Ogier's move back to Citroen had been expected as it became increasingly clear that Ford's level of manufacturer backing and financial input to M-Sport wasn't sufficient to keep him in a Fiesta WRC for a third season.

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About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Ogier
Teams Citroën World Rally Team
Author David Evans
Article type Breaking news