Sebastien Ogier intends to stay with Toyota next season, extending his WRC career by another year.
The six-time champion, who has already won 48 WRC rounds said last season that he would retire at the end of 2020. However, the corona virus-interrupted programme has prompted him to add another year to his single-season deal to drive a Yaris WRC.
Although the extension is not confirmed, it is believed to be a formality.
“We have discussed it and he has said he would like to continue with us one more year,” said Toyota boss Tommi Makinen. “We have nothing against this idea, of course, he is one of the best drivers we have ever had, and he is absolutely a good teacher for the young drivers.
“Yes, of course, we would like to keep him very much. The feeling is definitely the same from Japan [Toyota].”
Last month Ogier confirmed he was interested in staying in the sport. And, speaking to French magazine AUTO Hebdo last week, the Frenchman went further.
“This year 2020 is complicated, so I plan to do one more season,” said Ogier. “It is not yet fully acquired. I currently only have a one-year contract, but we have started to talk about it with the team.”
Ogier’s team-mates next season will still be Elfyn Evans, Kalle Rovanperä and junior driver Takamoto Katsuta, all of whom have current contracts with Toyota.
News of Ogier’s second season in a Yaris WRC will be welcomed at the Puuppola-based squad, where this year’s all-new line-up has gelled successfully. Evans and Ogier have won the last two rounds of the WRC in Sweden and México, with the Welshman losing his #1 championship points status to Ogier after Mexico.