Sebastien Ogier '99%' sure about his 2018 WRC decision

Sebastien Ogier says his mind is "99%" made up about his future in the World Rally Championship

Sebastien Ogier '99%' sure about his 2018 WRC decision

The WRC champion had hoped to deliver news of his 2018 plans at this week's Rally Australia, but Autosport understands any firm direction is unlikely to be decided before series personnel return to Europe.

Ogier is understood to have ruled Citroen out, and is choosing between remaining at M-Sport and retiring from rallying altogether.

Asked about the timing of an announcement of his future, Ogier replied: "I don't remember the rally when I said it's coming soon, but it was a long time ago. I don't dare to say anything about the date.

"In one month the Monte entry list is closed and you will know if I'm on the list."

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson said he was making progress in meeting Ogier's wage demand for next season, but reiterated that he could not and would not make any financial moves that might jeopardise the team or his company.

One source close to the two parties said: "You'd have to say right now that Seb must be looking to continue next season, otherwise why would he allow Malcolm to keep chasing the deal?"

Ogier underlined that he wanted to know his future as soon as possible.

"Honestly, I am not playing a game," he said.

"I don't like to be in this situation and not able to tell you what is happening.

"I have made the decision, I would say, 99%."

Neuville leads Australia shakedown

Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville overcame an early engine problem to set fastest time at Thursday's Australia shakedown.

Neuville missed the start of shakedown, stopping on the road section out of Coffs Harbour with an oil leak ultimately diagnosed as a problem with the crank trigger.

The car was towed back to service where the issue was resolved, allowing Neuville time for three runs at the three-mile stage.

On the last of those three runs, Neuville went half a second faster than Rally GB winner Elfyn Evans in second place.

Neuville is 14 points clear of Ott Tanak in the battle for second in the championship going into this weekend.

Evans's time was equalled by Citroen driver Stephane Lefebvre, who admitted he was surprised at his pace after a long break from gravel event.

"It was not so easy in the first run," said Lefebvre, whose last full gravel rally in a C3 WRC was Poland in July.

"But I drove carefully and I tried to be neat and keep the car straight and this is how we made the time."

Jari-Matti Latvala's Toyota and Lefebvre's team-mate Kris Meeke completed the top five.

Ogier was slowest of the World Rally Cars but not concerned.

"We have seen from the times that the road is getting faster and faster," he said. "We only did three runs, I'm happy with that."

shares
comments
DMACK to step back from full-time WRC programme in 2018
Previous article

DMACK to step back from full-time WRC programme in 2018

Next article

WRC Rally Australia: Mikkelsen pulls clear after Meeke error

WRC Rally Australia: Mikkelsen pulls clear after Meeke error
Load comments
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
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Plus

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, Autosport picks out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Plus

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Plus

How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Plus

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Plus

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Plus

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Autosport went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021