Citroen begins talks with WRC champion Ogier over return for 2019

Citroen has opened talks with five-time World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier as it attempts to sign the Frenchman for 2019

Citroen begins talks with WRC champion Ogier over return for 2019

The manufacturer wants to bring Ogier back into its fold seven years after it let him go following an acrimonious season alongside Sebastien Loeb.

Ogier's current agreement with the M-Sport Ford team comes to an end at the end of this year, which means he is likely to receive offers from all four WRC squads.

After axing Kris Meeke in May, Citroen has committed Mads Ostberg to its second car for the majority of the remainder of the season alongside Craig Breen.

Team principal Pierre Budar told Autosport: "I am thinking about the driver line-up for next year a lot right now.

"We have many options and we're talking with several drivers - there could be changes for next year."

Asked directly about the potential for an Ogier return, he added: "I talk with Sebastien Ogier like I talk with other drivers. Of course we would be very happy to have such a driver in our team."

Ogier's preferred option is understood to be remaining where he is. He has spoken of how comfortable he feels at M-Sport, and the less onerous PR demands from a private team are another bonus for him.

Finances played a part in Citroen's failure to sign Ogier for 2018, with PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares revealing budgets had been cut for this year.

He also stated at the time he was content with a line-up of Meeke and Breen.

Asked if Citroen had the money required to bring Ogier, Budar added: "I cannot answer the question of budget, I don't want to talk about this.

"We have a budget and the company trusts us to use this in the best way for the team to win.

"It's up to us, we have to use the budget in the best way we can to win."

shares
comments
Fiesta completes zip wire stunt to showcase new Rally GB stage
Previous article

Fiesta completes zip wire stunt to showcase new Rally GB stage

Next article

Toyota wants Subaru and Mitsubishi back in World Rally Championship

Toyota wants Subaru and Mitsubishi back in World Rally Championship
Load comments
Why Loeb v Ogier duel gave the WRC's new hybrid era the ideal start Plus

Why Loeb v Ogier duel gave the WRC's new hybrid era the ideal start

OPINION: Any lingering concerns about the new-for-2022 Rally1 hybrid cars were dispelled by a blockbuster opening round to the World Rally Championship in Monte Carlo. The duel between Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier created a perfect feel-good story that will carry the series forward into its new era

WRC
6 h
How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off Plus

How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off

The new Rally1 hybrid cars made their competition debuts in Monte Carlo, but it was two semi-retired drivers who took centre stage in a thrilling battle between two of the World Rally Championship's most successful names. Here's how Sebastien Loeb completed a remarkable return on his M-Sport debut by beating reigning champion Sebastien Ogier

WRC
Jan 24, 2022
The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022 Plus

The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022

Eight-time World Rally Championship king Sebastien Ogier has abdicated (well, gone part-time) in 2022, meaning for just the second time in the past decade we will have a different champion this year. Autosport picks out the drivers gunning to take his place and take over the mantle as the WRC's new ruler

WRC
Jan 20, 2022
The 'Cumbrian Maranello' where Ford's WRC giants are born Plus

The 'Cumbrian Maranello' where Ford's WRC giants are born

M-Sport is changing the game as a World Rally Championship powerhouse, inspired by Ferrari's legendary Formula 1 base. Autosport was afforded a behind-the-scenes look at its new headquarters, the result of a vision that has taken three decades to be realised, where its new Rally1 Puma took shape

WRC
Jan 19, 2022
The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival Plus

The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival

Part-time opportunities with Citroen and Hyundai have offered brief glimpses of what Craig Breen can do in a World Rally Championship car. Now signed up by M-Sport to lead it into the WRC's new hybrid era, Breen has been given the chance he's pursued for so long and is determined to make the most of it

WRC
Jan 18, 2022
Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best Plus

Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best

The World Rally Championship has brought down the curtain on the aggressive, aero-laden generation of cars first introduced in 2017 that have been likened to the 1980s Group B icons. As the championship prepares to begin a new era of Rally1 hybrid cars, its stars explain just why the outgoing machines were so special

WRC
Dec 24, 2021
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021

On the eve of a new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship, the 2021 season was a blockbuster fought out between Toyota's two top dogs, with a familiar figure eventually emerging on top after a final showdown at Monza. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers from the top class and its supporting cast

WRC
Dec 21, 2021
Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour Plus

Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour

He’s shuffling into semi-rally-retirement, but Toyota star Sebastien Ogier was at the peak of his powers in the final season for the high downforce era-World Rally Championship cars. Despite Toyota's domination, there was still much to enjoy as the old master emerged atop a fierce title fight against team-mate Elfyn Evans

WRC
Dec 19, 2021