Seven-time world champion Sébastien Ogier has revealed more into the thinking behind his decision to remain with Toyota Gazoo Racing in 2021.
The Frenchman intended to call a halt to his stellar career at the end of the current season, but he will now remain with the Japanese manufacturer to defend his seventh title at the wheel of a Yaris.
Family man Sebastien Ogier says the additional time he enjoyed at home this year as a result of the pandemic will be balanced with one more campaign at rallying’s highest level.
“This year,” said Sebastien Ogier, “I had a lot of time at home, much more than expected. It’s priceless to have the time seeing your children growing. And, somehow, it balanced itself.
“The time that I was supposed to go away this year hasn’t happened and that’s also the reason in the decision with the family. It was easier to say that ‘OK, we can do one more as this year was exceptionally free and I spent a lot of time home this year’.”
Despite winning this year’s title in a final-round thriller at Italy’s ACI Rally Monza earlier this month, Ogier is looking to retain his crown after a busier season in 2021.
He added: “I want to end my career on a nicer way and with a proper season and that’s why I decided now to go for one more.”
Along with fellow Toyota drivers Kalle Rovanperä and Takamoto Katsuta, Ogier began his preparations for next season with a pre-Rallye Monte-Carlo test in the Gap area last week.
That single day of running around his home town, and the service park base for the opening round of the 2021 campaign, was also Ogier’s first time driving in anger on Pirellis since the end of the 2010 season.