Rally Mexico winner Sebastien Ogier has said the event shouldn’t have taken place because of the coronavirus threat.
The Toyota driver and six-time World Rally Champion has said the event should followed in the footsteps of other motorsport series, like Formula 1, Formula E and IndyCar, in cancelling upcoming rounds amid the coronavirus outbreak which is gripping the entire world.
WRC organisers eventually called an early end to the rally, with Ogier declared the winner on Saturday evening.
“Our love story with Mexico continues, twelve years after making our debut here, but considering the context, this win is very different from all the others,” said the Frenchman.
“For me, this rally should not have taken place. Nothing is more important than human lives and my fear during the weekend was that we could be putting our Mexican friends in danger.
“I’m sorry that we were not able to spend some time with the fans, who are always so warm-hearted here, but it was a necessary precaution for everyone’s well-being.”
However Ogier thanked his team for their hard work during the event and apologised to fans that he couldn’t spend more time with them.
“From a sporting point of view, this was a good weekend for us. Once it was clear the rally would go ahead, we had to focus on the race and we managed to do two good days. Congratulations to the whole team, because the three cars were faultless, which is always something of a feat in such difficult conditions. Despite all this rally’s traps, Julien and I didn’t make a single error; we attacked when we had to and managed our lead when we were able to.
“I’m very happy to have achieved this first victory with Toyota and I would clearly have preferred it to have been in other circumstances and to have celebrated it all together. It’s now time for all of us to look after ourselves and our families and I hope that we will emerge quickly from this worldwide crisis.”