Sebastien Ogier has announced he’s been in talks with a number of World Rally Championship teams, though won’t make a decision until after the season is over. The four-time French champion is the most notable available driver for 2017 and continues to keep his cards close to his chest.
With Volkswagen pulling out of the WRC after the Kennards Hire Rally Australia 2016, there is still speculation over the whereabouts of Ogier and his team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen and Jari-Matti Latvala next season.
“It’s no secret I have been having talks with a couple of teams and now I think the next step is to meet them and have a bit more clue of what their plan is for the future,” Ogier said.
“I like to judge before I sign with anyone – so that’s my next step. Also try the car. It’s important to have some feelings about which car I could drive next year. These test drives could happen as early as next week – with Volkswagen’s blessing.”
VW are unsurprisingly uneasy about Ogier abandoning the team and his commitments in recent rounds, but with such a short winter break, the team understands his determination to find a drive.
“We have what you say is a gentlemen’s agreement that I can work on my future. I hope, when I go back to Europe, very quickly I can work on this new project because there are only weeks before Monte Carlo,” Ogier explained.
“Obviously we are already a little bit late now to be in optimal condition for next season but I hope that very soon I’ll be able to take my decision.” Despite this, Ogier will be adamant on finding a team he can defend his title with.
“I am always looking for competition and being competitive. A competitive team and car is what I want so I can have the car and continue what we have done for some years.”
Day 3 of Kennards Hire Rally Australia 2016 starts; Saturday 20:00, UK Time.