Volkswagen drivers closing on 2017 WRC seats

Volkswagen refugees Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen are likely to settle their 2017 World Rally Championship seats by the end of November

Volkswagen drivers closing on 2017 WRC seats

The three VW drivers are understood to be working through their contracts with their management and legal teams at present.

WRC champion Ogier remains at the forefront of discussions, with a two-horse race between M-Sport and Citroen developing over his services.

Asked to comment on how negotiations were progressing, M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson told Autosport: "Sebastien and I are in discussion. In all honesty, that's all I can say.

"He hasn't driven the car, there are a few things to get sorted out."

Where will Ogier go for 2017?

Ogier has remained silent on where he might go following the shock withdrawal of his current employer, but Citroen is known to be working on possibilities for him as well.

Sources insist Latvala is closing on a deal with the Tommi Makinen-run Toyota programme.

Latvala's manager Timo Jouhki told Autosport: "We haven't made any decisions yet.

"It's quite clear there's nothing at Hyundai and Citroen.

"We're not doing anything on that line, but they might do something for Ogier.

"So that leaves M-Sport and Toyota and we are talking to them both.

"I understand people are making the connection with Tommi, because I managed him as well, because the team is based in Finland and because Jari-Matti is Finnish.

"I can tell you nothing is done, but we are getting closer to one of the places."

Citroen's Yves Matton has previously told Autosport he has limited interest in Latvala and Mikkelsen because "they are not French and they are not world champions".

While Ogier and Latvala appear close to new drives, there is less clarity over Mikkelsen's destination.

But his manager Erik Veiby is confident he will secure a 2017 seat without much delay.

"Nothing is really clear regarding the termination of the contract with Volkswagen, but we are talking to several teams about next year and I am confident we will see Andreas with a top team," he said.

Though Ogier has remained tight-lipped over his future, he recently broke his silence regarding VW's decision in an interview with French newspaper L'Equipe.

"I'm fine, there is worse in life," he said.

"I have just lived four fantastic seasons with a fantastic team and we all would have liked the story to go on.

"But I'm already looking ahead with optimism.

"Today we can be proud of what we have accomplished together and I prefer to remember all these good times and be happy that it happened rather than being saddened by what is happening now."

Ogier added that he was struggling to comprehend that this week's Rally Australia would be his VW farewell.

"The final rally with Volkswagen - that sounds crazy," he said.

"Although my starting position is not exactly promising, I will do everything in my power to ensure that we have something to celebrate together again after our final outing in Australia."

shares
comments
Volkswagen offers 2016 World Rally Car to privateers for 2017
Previous article

Volkswagen offers 2016 World Rally Car to privateers for 2017

Next article

Sebastien Ogier to test for potential 2017 WRC teams next week

Sebastien Ogier to test for potential 2017 WRC teams next week
Load comments
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
6 h
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
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