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Ogier: “No reason to change” for 2024 amid Hyundai WRC rumours

Sebastien Ogier has indicated he wishes to continue his part-time World Rally Championship programme with Toyota next year, stating “there is no real reason for me to change anything.”   

Sébastien Ogier, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

The eight-time world champion moved away from full-time competition after lifting the 2021 title with Toyota, and has since contested partial campaigns driving for the Japanese marque.

Ogier has insisted during the last two years that he has no desire to return to full-time competition and has been enjoying the flexibility of a part-time campaign that allows him to spend more time with his family. This season Ogier has won three of six WRC rallies entered. 

However, at Rally Finland, speculation linked the Frenchman to a possible move to Toyota rival Hyundai for next year. Speaking at the Acropolis Rally, Ogier insisted he is happy with his current position at Toyota, describing the rumours as silly season talk.

Hyundai has only one of its seats locked in for next year with Thierry Neuville under contract. It appears suggestions of a Ogier move gathered momentum virtue of Hyundai signing new technical director Francois Xavier Demaison, whom Ogier scored four of his world titles with when the pair worked together at Volkswagen from 2013-2016.

When asked about his plan for next year, Ogier said: “I have nothing really special to announce. It is not a secret that I’m happy with what I am doing right now with this kind of programme. 

“It is also not a secret that we are discussing to carry on in a similar way.”

Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Toyota Racing

In response to the Hyundai speculation, he added: “I believe this sport needs a bit of talk during summer that is the talk season. I believe this was not a funded [profound] rumour. 

“I know a lot of people at Hyundai and maybe there was maybe some start of talks because I am my own manager, so it can happen that I talk to people as that costs nothing. 

“But the reality is I am happy with everything I have at the moment, so there is no real reason for me to change anything.”

Toyota management has previously indicated that it sees no reason why it would alter its driver line-up for 2024.

Although world champion Kalle Rovanpera and Elfyn Evans are yet to secure deals for next season, contract discussions are believed to have started with the duo.

“Of course next year’s plans and discussions are going on all of the time,” said Rovanpera, who is tipped to remain at Toyota.  

Evans, who currently trails Rovanpera by 33 points in the championship standings, although was coy when asked about his future, stating that it was an “open market” at this stage of the season.

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