Ogier gave Ford "ultimatum" before Citroen switch

Sebastien Ogier gave Ford an ultimatum to back M-Sport's World Rally Championship effort more, and its failure to do so prompted his decision to leave for Citroen.

Ogier gave Ford "ultimatum" before Citroen switch

Ogier and M-Sport won the 2017 WRC titles as effective privateers, and appeared set for more substantial Ford support this season.

But the fact that "Ford has not kept pace with our needs" left Ogier frustrated and caused his exit.

“At the end of last year, Ford seemed motivated to help us further and allow us to raise our level this season but unfortunately I was a little disappointed on that side," he told French newspaper L'Equipe.

"I gave Ford an ultimatum: either we had official support, or there was a good chance I would be interested to go somewhere else."

Ogier made clear that he had been reluctant to leave Malcolm Wilson's team.

“It was a difficult decision,” he told Motorsport.com. “It’s never easy to take a big decision like this one.

"I had two really good years with M-Sport and Ford and we achieved big things together.

"It’s no secret I felt good in this team and working with Malcolm and his guys was nice for me.

“It was not easy to leave them. On the other hand without more support from Ford it became more and more difficult to carry on.

"At the end it was my decision but it was a common decision with Malcolm and me that it was difficult to carry on.”

Ogier goes into the final three rounds of this year's WRC only third in the championship between the fully-factory Hyundai and Toyota programmes led by Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak respectively.

He fears that his title defence will be over if he cannot beat both his rivals in the upcoming Rally Great Britain.

"If I want to keep my chance alive, I need to beat them this weekend," Ogier told Motorsport.com.

"In Spain and Australia, anything can happen. But this is a rally I like. It's a tricky rally with tricky conditions, but those conditions bring possibilities with them.

"I know I need to work on myself and do even better in the last three rallies."

The Citroen team Ogier is leaving for has not won a championship since the last of Sebastien Loeb's titles in 2012, finished last in the manufacturers' standings last season and currently occupies the same spot this year.

But Ogier said earlier this week he had been convinced by team principal Pierre Budar that Citroen was ready to raise its commitment and get its once-dominant WRC programme back on track.

Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Fiesta WRC

Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Fiesta WRC

Photo by: M-Sport

shares
comments
Loeb joined Citroen for pre-Rally GB test

Previous article

Loeb joined Citroen for pre-Rally GB test

Next article

How Rally GB won over the WRC title contenders

How Rally GB won over the WRC title contenders
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Ogier
Teams Citroën World Rally Team , M-Sport
Author David Evans
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021