Latvala: Small possibility Ogier will do full 2022 WRC season

Toyota boss Jari-Matti Latvala is not ruling out the possibility of Sebastien Ogier committing to a full World Rally Championship season in 2022 but admits a half season deal is most likely.

Latvala: Small possibility Ogier will do full 2022 WRC season

Ogier remains a key player in the WRC silly season with the seven-time champion’s future yet to be finalised as the championship prepares to usher in new hybrid Rally1 regulations next year.

The reigning champion has indicated that he wishes to contest a part campaign next year having added an extra year than originally anticipated to his WRC career this season after COVID-19 wiped out the majority of 2020.

However, there has been suggestions that should Ogier win this year’s championship, an eighth title, he may opt to contest a full season next year.

Latvala has made it clear that he wishes to retain his current driver line-up of Ogier, Elfyn Evans, Kalle Rovanpera and Takamoto Katsuta, with Ogier contesting half of the 2022 season at least.

Sébastien Ogier, Toyota Gazoo Racing

Sébastien Ogier, Toyota Gazoo Racing

Photo by: Toyota Racing

The Finn admits there is a small possibility Ogier may wish to do a full season next year but at this stage talks have only centred around a part-time campaign which would allow possible activities in other motor racing disciplines, which the rally star has previously highlighted.

“Never say never. It is a possibility but I think there is a small possibility,” Latvala told Autosport when asked if there was a chance Ogier, who currently leads the championship standings, could do the full 2022 season.

“I think Sebastien is a bit like Sebastien Loeb. I think he wants to experience something else we have seen him in the Porsche Carrera Cup some years ago and I think he has tried a Formula 1 car. He also has chances in the other championships.

“I think he has interest to do something else and that is why I think he will probably be looking to do half a season.

“Never say never but at the moment it is still looking like a half season.

“We have been discussing with Sebastien. He has not confirmed for the full season he has said very clearly that he will maybe do half a season and that is what we are looking at, at the moment.

“We will try and make half a season for him and then of course if we have half a season for Sebastien there we will need an additional driver to cover the other half of the season. We still need the calendar for 2022 so we can decide the events.”

Read Also:

While the release of the 2022 calendar is providing a hurdle for Toyota in securing its driver line-up, Latvala believes he has several additional driver options to fill Ogier’s seat for the remaining events next year.

Former Toyota, Citroen and M-Sport driver Esapekka Lappi, M-Sport’s Teemu Suninen, Hyundai’s Dani Sordo and WRC2 star Jari Huttunen have emerged as candidates.

“Teemu Suninen and then there is Lappi for sure and Dani [Sordo], Dani has been driving quite a long time for Hyundai,” Latvala added.

“I think he is pretty comfortable over there but for sure in one sense it is a little bit interesting for us. Also there is this one rising star Jari Huttonen, who won the WRC2 in Sardinia.

“There are still quite a few drivers you can choose from so even though Hyundai did the agreements with their current drivers, and from our side we want to keep the current drivers in our team, and I’m quite confident that we will have the same drivers fro next year, there is still a nice selection for this one driver [position] for next year.”

shares
comments

Related video

Ninety-one-year-old becomes oldest ever WRC competitor

Previous article

Ninety-one-year-old becomes oldest ever WRC competitor

Next article

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021