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

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 Autosport.

“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.”

Read Also:

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

WRC Monza: Ogier seals emotional eighth world title in style
Previous article

WRC Monza: Ogier seals emotional eighth world title in style

Next article

Evans “couldn’t have given an awful lot more” in WRC title fight

Evans “couldn’t have given an awful lot more” in WRC title fight
Load comments
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
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Plus

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021