Toyota concerned about sequel without Ogier

The technical director of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, Tom Fowler, says that Toyota concerns about the life without Sebastien Ogier after the results he delivers for the team, but he admits that it is better for the team that the last one will do a part proggramme instead of nothing.

The seven-time World Rally Driver Champion, Ogier, announced that he will retire at the end of this season, but he wants to continue working for Toyota as a part-time driver next year.

So far, one thing is sure that he will take part with the Yaris WRC in next year's Rallye Monte Carlo while it is yet to confirm in which events he will particate in 2022.

It must be mentioned that the Japanese team is looking to put Hyundai's policy into action next season having two drivers who will share the third Yaris.

According to Jari-Matti Latvala, team principal of Toyota, Esapekka Lappi is in the strongest position for signing a contract with Toyota for next season and for sharing the car with Ogier.

"Obviously, it’s always a worry for the team when you have a key driver like that leaving", Fowler told DirtFish.

"I guess having that driver go into some sort of retirement is easier to accept than if they’re leaving for another car or a salary increase. 

"But in terms of pure performance, Séb delivers for us.

"To not have that feeling of having that guy with us as we go into every round in 2022… well, it’s a worry to not have that anymore.

"Hopefully we’ll have that sometimes, he’ll be with the team sometimes and I’m sure he still be in the Toyota group and able to help".

Finally, he referred to the unexpected result and performance Ogier had in this year's Rally Sardinia: "Sometimes Séb does rallies like you can’t believe.

"Sardinia was one of those.

"Yes, all the talk of being first on the road is boring, but look at the performance. 

"It made no sense that, starting where he started on the road, that he was the guy jumping in the sea on Sunday afternoon.

"That’s what Séb can do. 

"Look at the comparison with Ypres. 

"For months, everybody had been talking about the one guy [Thierry Neuville] winning in Ypres and then he won the stages and won the rally. 

"That was boring.

"Compare that with what Ogier did in Sardinia. 

"The great thing about Séb is the way he pushes. 

"When he’s on normal speed, the onboards look like he’s just taking a normal drive – but when he’s on the maximum it’s like something out of a movie.

"For sure, we’ll miss that with Séb".


Photo Credits: Toyota

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