Six-time WRC world champion Sebastien Ogier has never been quiet about the fact that he intended to end his rally career the same way he started it: behind the wheel of a Citroën. What he didn’t mention at the time was something he couldn’t have possibly known: that he would be leaving to focus on Extreme E.
Earlier in July, Ogier was announced as a global ambassador for Extreme E, an all-electric series dedicated to racing EV SUVs in tough climates, like in the mountains or or the Arctic. It made sense to sign Ogier to the team—the series needs someone skilled to test out their cars, and the ABB FIA Formula E-run series needs someone who can help advise them in sporting matters given that Extreme E is pretty wildly different from anything we’ve seen before. It isn’t confirmed whether or not Ogier will actually race in the series.
Ogier’s contract with Citroën expires after the 2020 season, meaning next year will be his last, so fans will have an appropriate amount of time to say their goodbyes. After that, he’s heading right into Extreme E. As he was quoted saying in Motorsport.com:
I have said that [he would retire from Citroen] many times. People keep asking me, maybe they don’t believe me. It was never my plan to stay after next year, the deal with Citroen was always a straight two-year agreement.
It seems like Ogier is just keen for something new (I mean, it’s gotta get boring kicking everyone’s ass all the time, right?), and Extreme E is proposing a racing product unlike anything else. From Motorsport.com:
“I was at the Goodwood Festival of Speed [July 7] and saw the car for the very first time,” said Ogier. “It was awesome to finally see it and I can’t wait to get working with the Extreme E team.
“The sporting aspect is compelling with Extreme E and the head-to-head format is always thrilling – it’s like what we see with the [super] special stages in rallying, which the fans always love.
“With the racing spectacle will come the ability to raise awareness among a huge, global audience of the issues that face many environments around the world due to climate change and human interference.
“I am sure it can be a powerful tool in driving change and behaviours - and that notion is something very close to my heart.”
Hell yeah, Seb. We need more champions pushing for more eco-friendly racing. Good on ya.