Ogier quits Citroen prompting French team to pull out of WRC

Paris (AFP) –


Six-time world rally champion Sebastien Ogier has quit Citroen after just one year of his contract, prompting the French constructor to announce Wednesday that it is withdrawing from the World Rally Championship (WRC).

"Following the decision of @SebOgier to leave Citroen Racing after 2019 World Rally Championship season, @Citroen decided to withdraw from its @OfficialWRC programme in 2020 due to the absence of a first-class driver available for 2020 season," the team tweeted.

The Frenchman, who won the title every year from 2013 to 2018, has been linked heavily with a move to Toyota who have just seen 2019 world champion Ott Tanak leave for Hyundai.

Ogier joined Citroen on a two-year contract at the start of the 2019 season with the aim of securing a seventh successive title.

However, he could only finish third as Tanak broke a French stranglehold on the title that stretched back 15 years with Sebastien Loeb winning nine before Ogier took up the mantle.

Ogier had previously driven for Citroen between 2008 and 2011 when he left amid tensions with his teammate Loeb.

Citroen have won eight WRC constructors titles, most recently in 2012 and nine drivers' titles, all through Loeb.

After a year away from the WRC in 2016, Citroen returned in 2017 but have won just six out of 40 races since.

Their exit may also be linked to the return of their Groupe PSA stablemate Peugeot to the World Endurance Championship in 2022.