Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia were officially crowned world champions (WRC) for the seventh time at the FIA’s prize giving in Geneva on Friday night (18 December).
The Toyota Gazoo Racing pair were honoured in a virtual ceremony in which Hyundai Motorsport also accepted the manufacturers’ title and Hyundai 2C Competition received the WRC Championship for Teams.
Ogier admitted the nature of the season added to the difficulty of clinching his seventh title in eight seasons in a Yaris World Rally Car.
“We had to face this pandemic and we had to deal with a very special calendar, completely different to what we expected,” said the Frenchman.
“Actually, it was hard to feel into a championship this season for us, so we had to take every rally one after each other and give the best every time, not really knowing what’s coming next.
“So I think the intensity was actually almost higher because we had to be at our maximum every rally and it was hard to make a plan on the long term. Every time we were thinking we need to make the best out of the weekend and come out with the maximum of points.”
Ogier also spoke about Toyota’s announcement hours earlier that Jari-Matti Latvala would succeed Tommi Mäkinen as team principal from the start of 2021. The pair were team-mates at Volkswagen Motorsport for four seasons.
“There is nobody more passionate and who knows more the WRC story than him. I’m sure he will put all his energy into this new job. I would say that a lot of people were surprised by this news, of course, but it will be interesting to see how he can adapt to this new position,” said Ogier.
Also honoured were WRC2 winners Mads Østberg and Torstein Eriksen and teams champion Toksport. Jari Huttunen and Mikko Lukka celebrated WRC3 success along with Junior WRC champions Tom Kristensson and Joakim Sjöberg.
Tributes were also paid to Martin Holmes, one of the most recognisable and longest serving figures in the WRC service park, who died in June, aged 80. After co-driving at the highest level, Holmes became one of world rallying’s most experienced and respected journalists.
By: WRC official website