Ogier: Hard to put emotional eighth WRC title into words

Sebastien Ogier says it is “hard to put into words” the joy and sadness of winning an eighth World Rally Championship title in his final season as a full-time driver.

Ogier: Hard to put emotional eighth WRC title into words
Listen to this article

The Toyota driver secured an emotional championship victory in style by winning the title deciding Rally Monza after a thrilling event long fight with teammate and rival Elfyn Evans.

Ogier’s victory sparked emotional scenes as the success brought the curtain down on a glittering full-time WRC career, while it was also the final event for co-driver Julien Ingrassia after a successful 16-year partnership.

Ingrassia shed a tear as they crossed the finish line before Ogier presented him with a crash helmet to commemorate the eighth world title and his career, before climbing on the roof of the Yaris to celebrate the championship.

While Ogier is expected to return the WRC for at least one rally next year in Monte Carlo, the 37-year-old has no regrets on his decision to step back from full-time driving in the WRC.

“It [the title] is hard to put words on this kind of day in terms of emotions, but the biggest one today is about Julien [Ingrassia],” Ogier told Motorsport.com.

“We know inside us that there is a lot of joy but there is a bit of sadness and more than a little bit actually.

“We know this is the end of this fantastic journey and Julien has been a huge part of this successful story. I told him across the finish line that I’m going to miss him.

“I had prepared his crash helmet a few rallies ago when we had this 44 point lead. I was not able to finish the title in the last rallies and in the end we couldn’t use so I had to wait in-until the last stage of the rally to use it.

“At least next year I am only doing a few rallies maybe, I have no real plans. Every good thing has an end in life and I’m not sad at any point about this decision that I have taken but it feels completely right to do this right now.

“Let’s see what the future brings to my life. I feel I need this break and time for myself and try to build some more motivation to do some more motorsport again.”

Winner and Champion Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Winner and Champion Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Ogier’s fairytale finish was almost derailed when he clipped a concrete barrier with his front right on Sunday’s first stage in Monza, and was lucky to avoid a puncture.

"Yes luck is part of the sport. I just glanced this barrier and a few millimetres in then it is an impact and it breaks the wheel and minimum it is a puncture,” he added.

“I knew it wasn’t a big impact as I almost didn’t feel it, but inside it sounded strange and I was constantly checking my dashboard to see if I have a puncture. I was quite relieved to see there was no puncture and I could carry on normally.”

Reflecting on his career, Ogier says it is impossible to pick out a favourite title from his eight championships.

“In my eyes they are all the best I cherish all of them," he said. “Sometimes I will make a classification but it is always a unique journey. I think emotionally I appreciate them even more year after year.”

Ogier will however return to the wheel of a rally car next week with the Frenchman expected to test Toyota’s new hybrid Rally1 2022 car for the first time.

shares
comments

Related video

Monza WRC: Ogier seals emotional eighth world title in style

Evans "couldn't have given an awful lot more" in WRC title fight

Why Monte Carlo success could spark another past master’s WRC revival

Why Monte Carlo success could spark another past master’s WRC revival

Prime
Prime
WRC
Rally Monte Carlo
Tom Howard

Delecour on starting a new chapter Why Monte Carlo success could spark another past master’s WRC revival

How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master

How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master

Prime
Prime
WRC
Rally Monte Carlo
Tom Howard

How fired-up Ogier mastered Monte How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master

How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling

How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling

Prime
Prime
WRC
Tom Howard

How Lancia defeated Audi in 1983 How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling

Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion

Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion

Prime
Prime
WRC
Tom Howard

Why M-Sport focused on WRC reunion Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion

The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown

The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown

Prime
Prime
WRC
Tom Howard

Rovanpera's title rivals in 2023 The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown

Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title

Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title

Prime
Prime
WRC
Tom Howard

How Rovanpera can defend his title Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title

From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing

From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing

Prime
Prime
WRC
Tom Howard

From F1 to WRC: Hyundai's new boss From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing

The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed

The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed

Prime
Prime
WRC
Tom Howard

The stillborn Toyota WRC car The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed