Sebastien Ogier says it is “my wish to stay” with Toyota long-term after his full-time WRC career ends, with the reigning World Rally champion eyeing up other motorsport challenges.
Ogier will heavily scale back his WRC involvement at the end of this season, having made his WRC debut back in 2008 and collected seven world titles.
The Frenchman does intend to put together a partial programme in 2022 when the new Rally1 regulations come into effect, with Toyota his first choice.
Although it is yet to be seen how many appearances Ogier will make, Rally Monte Carlo appears to be a certainty, and last January he won his home round for a record-extending eighth time.
“About rallies, it is true that I’m not closing the door to still do some rallies maybe, but so far the only one I said it would be was Monte Carlo,” Ogier told Autosport when asked if he had given his future more thought.
“So about more, we definitely need to discuss at some point with the team to see what is the strategy for the future, and what the strategy is for the driver line-up and how I could fit into that.”
The fact Toyota has a well-funded World Endurance Championship programme – something Ogier is keen to become involved with – and is a regular at the Dakar Rally is another reason why he is looking to stay.
“My dream is to stay with Toyota – but I want to do Le Mans [24 Hours], like you know,” he explained.
“But there’s nothing [to report on negotiations at the moment]. That discussion has barely started yet as we were very focused on this year, but my wish is to stay with the team. I often mention that I would love to have a chance to go circuit racing and to participate in Le Mans.
“I’m not sure if that will be feasible yet or not, and from next year on already or not, but that is something I would wish [for].”
Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Jari-Matti Latvala has confirmed he intends to sit down with Ogier in the coming weeks to work out a plan for 2022: “We have briefly spoken about next year and the plan is to quite soon start negotiating with him, mostly the specific rallies he would like to do.
“Of course, if we knew the calendar for next year that would help us plan. Then when Sebastien says which events he wants to do, we can look at what driver is doing the other events that he doesn’t do.
“With Toyota being involved in racing circuit and Dakar and rally, it gives some interesting chances for Sebastien. I believe he will carry on with Toyota and if he does rallies maybe there is the option for him to do something else as well inside the Toyota group, so we want to keep him in Toyota Gazoo Racing and see him doing rallies, but also possibly something else inside the group.”