Sebastien Ogier Wins Fifth WRC Title in Wales
M-Sport also claimed the Constructors’ Title while Ogier’s teammate Elfyn Evans took home the overall win.
This past Sunday, the FIA crowned two drivers with world championships—Formula 1's Lewis Hamilton and World Rally Championship driver, Sebastien Ogier. While Hamilton was awarded his fourth career championship, Ogier claimed his fifth while rounding out a stellar weekend for his M-Sport crew. The U.K.-based team was also awarded the Constructors' Title while still being the only non-manufacturer-backed entry in the WRC, ending what is likely to be its most successful run in years to come.
Ogier claimed four of his titles with Volkswagen from 2013-2016, though he admitted that this year's victory somehow felt much more rewarding. He was able to clinch the championship despite finishing in third place thanks to his teammate, Elfyn Evans, who took the overall victory at the Wales Rally GB.
"I don't understand where this came from, but the emotion was really strong in this moment," Ogier told Motorsport.com. "It's hard to explain and I don't know why, but this was the strongest I have felt in this sport. I feel so proud and so happy for what we have achieved with Malcolm and with M-Sport. At the start of this year, we had to take this bet, we had to make this challenge with ourselves, but we did it and we succeeded. The guys at M-Sport worked so hard, they did so much with a smaller budget than the manufacturers. What we achieved this year is amazing."
M-Sport head Malcolm Wilson explained that this moment peers above the rest after returning to the team's former glory. It's been announced that the Cumbria-based outfit will be losing Ott Tänak, a long-stay with the team who has proven successful for the team in years past.
"It's starting to sink in now and I'm starting to understand that it can't get any better than this. Really, it can't," said Wilson. "This is the absolute high point for me. You look back to when we won the two titles before [in 2006 and 2007], particularly the second one on Rally Ireland and it was messy. Marcus crashed, we didn't win the rally, but we got the title and that was OK. This time, it was everything and it was so, so special."
He closed out describing that final moment of Sunday's race, "Ott [Tanak] crossed the line and that was the manufacturers', then Seb was next, that was the drivers' and then Elfyn came and won our home round of the world championship. It really couldn't get any better than that. Everything was perfect."