Sébastien Ogier

1. Who is Sébastien Ogier?

Sébastien Ogier is a French pilot, born December 17, 1983 in Gap (Hautes-Alpes). He is an eight-time world rally champion in the WRC, and has joined the French team Richard Mille Racing in WEC (Endurance) in 2022.

Sébastien Ogier WRC Portrait

Photo François Flamand / DPPI

2. Sébastien Ogier’s junior career 

Sébastien Ogier, a mechanical BTS graduate, made his rallying debut at the end of 2005 and won the FFSA Youth Rally selection. During his first apprenticeship season, in the Peugeot 206 Cup, he finished sixth in the championship and best beginner, already with a certain Julien Ingrassia as co-driver. The following year, in 2007, the French driver won the 206 Cup, with 4 victories under his belt.

He also added his victory at the Rallye Hivernal des Hautes-Alpes to his list of achievements and was awarded the title of“Exhaust Hope of the Year”, succeeding great champions such as Didier Auriol, François Delecour and Sébastien Loeb. In 2008, the Ogier-Ingrassia duo joined the French FFSA Team, then immediately competed in the Junior World Rally Championship at the wheel of a Citroën C2 S1600 where they made a splash by winning, for their first race, the Rally of Mexico in Junior WRC and at the same time becomes the first junior driver in history to score a point in the WRC general classification. Besides this, he won 3 other races and won the title of Junior World Rally Champion. Here he is ready for the premier category.

Sebastien Ogier Junior WRC

Photo: Citroën Racing

3. Sébastien Ogier’s WRC career

Following on from his title acquired in the junior category, Sébastien Ogier competed in his first WRC rally at the end of 2008, in Great Britain, where he led until a technical problem during the 5th special, which forced him to abandon. It was truly in 2009 that Sébastien Ogier's talent was recognized by the whole world.

Indeed, at the wheel of his new Peugeot 207 S2000, Ogier won one of the most prestigious races in the IRC championship: the Monte-Carlo Rally, then signed his first World Cup podium by finishing 2nd in the Acropolis Rally. In 2010, after two podiums with the Citroën Junior team, he scored his first WRC victory at the Rally of Portugal, narrowly beating Sébastien Loeb.

It is thanks to his high-class performances that he managed to join the upper echelon of the French manufacturer: the Citroën World Rally Team. The enemy then comes from within, from the legend Sébastien Loeb (then seven-time WRC world champion), protected by the Chevron brand for around ten years. But he has no complexes when it comes to star Loeb, and relations become somewhat strained during the season between the two men.

Sébastien Ogier Sébastien Loeb clash WRC

Photo Francois Flamand / DPPI

Sébastien Ogier then understands that there is not enough room for two number 1s at Citroën Racing, and therefore joins Volkswagen. After a year of transition developing the Polo WRC, in 2013, the driver had an extraordinary season with 9 victories and 11 podiums as well as 290 points scored in the world championship (WRC record), or more than a hundred points. ahead of his runner-up Thierry Neuville. He therefore won the first world champion title of his career.

Sébastien Ogier Volswagen WRC world rally champion

Photo Bastien Baudin / DPPI

The first of a long series since he would win three other titles with Volkswagen. In 2014 and 2015, ahead of his two teammates Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen. But also in 2016, ahead of Belgian Thierry Neuville, who drives for Hyundai, as in 2013. In the best car in the field, Ogier flies! But the story thickened when Volkswagen was mired in the diesel scandal in 2015. The manufacturer immediately withdrew from the rally and the Ogier Ingrassia duo found themselves on foot.

Naturally, requests poured in for the Gapençais, particularly from official manufacturers, but he created a surprise by joining the private team of Malcolm Wilson M-Sport, which benefits from the support of Ford. Ogier stayed there for two years and shined by winning the two world titles in 2017 and 2018, each time ahead of Thierry Neuville!

Monte Carlo Ogier Rally

Photo Thomas Fenetre / DPPI

His 2018 title will remain as one of the most beautiful, after a crazy rise in the standings, going from 5th place at the end of the Rally of Turkey, in September, to first place two months later, during the last rally of the year, in Australia, at the end of a crazy scenario where his main rivals Tänak and Neuville made mistakes.

Finally, the only year where the title escaped him was 2019. Back at Citroën, the Gapençais clearly did not have the weapons to challenge for the title and even finished 3rd behind the new champion Ott Tänak and his runner-up Neuville. Consequently, Ogier did not linger at Citroën and returned to the ranks of a manufacturer, Toyota, and therefore discovered a fourth team.

This time, the competition is internal with the advent of the Welshman Elfyn Evans. Twice, in 2020 and 2021, the title is played out at the very end of the year during the Monza rally. Systematically, the Habs had strong nerves against Evans who made a mistake each time. At the end of 2021 and after an eighth world champion title, the Gapençais bows out in WRC, at least as far as full seasons are concerned, and reconverts to Endurance.

However, in 2022, he returns during the Monte Carlo Rally, the first round of the season, and competes with Sébastien Loeb for three days. It was ultimately the Alsatian who came out on top, taking advantage of a ten-second penalty given to Ogier for a stolen start. In 2022, the Gapençais is expected to take part in a few rounds.

Sébastien Ogier Toyota world rally champion

Photo Nikos Katikis / DPPI

4. Sébastien Ogier’s Endurance Course

After having written part of the history of the WRC, the French driver now wishes to extend his career in Endurance. He therefore participated, in November 2021, in the rookie test of the World Endurance Championship within the Toyota Gazoo Racing team, the day after the 8 Hours of Bahrain. We were also able to see him test the Toyota GR010 on the Sakhir and Motorland Aragon circuits.

In January 2022, the French team Richard Mille Racing announces the crew of the No. 07 Oreca 1 which will participate in the World Endurance Championship, in LM P2, where we find the young Charles Milesi and Lilou Wadoux as well as as ex-rallyman Sébastien Ogier. His endurance career is officially launched. Ogier will be present at the next edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Sébastien Ogier WEC Toyota Richard Mille

Photo Germain Hazard / DPPI

5. AUTOhebdo's opinion on Sébastien Ogier

Sébastien Ogier has marked the history of his sport with his accomplished records and his eight world champion titles. His rivalry with fellow WRC legend Sébastien Loeb will remain etched in the minds of motorsport fans. Today, in terms of popularity, he unfortunately suffers from comparison with a Sébastien Loeb who is more media-friendly and appreciated by the public. Will he, like the latter, succeed in other sports or will he not risk damaging his legend by failing in Endurance? To be continued, from 2022.

Sébastien Ogier 24 hours of Le Mans

Photo Joao Filipe / DPPI

Sébastien Ogier
Sébastien Ogier
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Age Dec 17, 1983 (40 years old)

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