Ogier doesn't want "number one status" at Citroen

Six-time World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier says he is not interested in having "number one status" at his new Citroen team.

Ogier doesn't want "number one status" at Citroen

Ogier is joined by former Toyota driver Esapekka Lappi at Citroen this season and the Frenchman prefers to focus on the potential of the two C3 WRC drivers working to make the car quicker and more consistent through the coming season.

“You know what,” Ogier said, “one thing which is sure: I don’t want any number one status in the team.

"For me it has to be equal chance as long as we both have a chance to fight. If one driver has the chance and the other not, then it’s logical to give some support in this direction.

"Right now we start with the same chance.

“I’m happy to have Esapekka in the team, he’s a nice guy and definitely some talent as well. And he can bring some interesting things from his old team.

"At the moment, I believe we can do what we have to do – there’s no reason to think this [team] won’t be performing well.”

For the first time last year, Ogier relied on help from his M-Sport teammates Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen to land the drivers’ title - and he’s keen to avoid that sort of scenario this time around.

Ogier added: “There was some times when I had some help from teammates, that’s not the way I wanted it and it’s not the way I want to start the season thinking like this.

"My target is that I want to make it on my own and most of my career it was like this.

"Yes, there was a situation where I benefitted from some support from my colleagues and at least that was a little bit of giving back from what I have done in the same way [in previous years].”

Lappi, who was the least experienced Toyota driver alongside Ott Tanak and Jari-Matti Latvala last year, said he knew his new six-time champion teammate went into 2019 as Citroen's most likely title hope.

But he does not expect to be making way for Ogier unless the championship fight demands it.

"It's quite clear who is number one and who is number two," Lappi said, before joking: "At least I'm not number three, which is already better!

"So far, I don't know how Seb works. In what I've discussed so far he seems warm and a nice guy, but maybe he's a different person in race mode.

"Later in the season, if it looks like I'm not on the fight for the overall standings, then it's quite clear we will give space for him like M-Sport did for him. It's part of the game.

"But, if I'm leading on Monte and he's behind, for sure I will not give him any space. We are on an equal level in the start of the season."

The 2019 World Rally Championship launches at Autosport International this weekend - get your tickets here

shares
comments
How Toyota plans to dominate the 2019 WRC season

Previous article

How Toyota plans to dominate the 2019 WRC season

Next article

M-Sport hands WRC2 driver Greensmith WRC chance

M-Sport hands WRC2 driver Greensmith WRC chance
Load comments
How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia Prime

How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Prime

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Prime

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win.

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Prime

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021