Bengaluru, November 30: World rally champion Sebastien Ogier put to rest all speculation about his retirement and signed for one more season with M-Sport.
The 33-year-old had made it five World Rally Championship (WRC) wins in a row this year after seeing off fierce rivals Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak.
However, paddock rumours were strong that the Frenchman might call it quits.
But Ogier has time and again spoken about his intention to emulate compatriot Sebastien Loeb's record feat of nine WRC wins a row and signed up with the London-based manufacturer again.
It’s great to finally announce that we are staying in @MSportLtd for 2018. What we have achieved together has been truly amazing, and we want to see that continue – to continue this fantastic journey and to defend all that we have achieved together. #WRC https://t.co/vsvq7aaquH— Sébastien Ogier (@SebOgier) November 28, 2017
"I still get a lot of emotion from this sport, and this team has so much passion. That made my decision clear, and we'll work hard to chase more success together next year," said Ogier, who along with co-driver Julien Ingrassia inked the new one-year deal at M-Sport headquarters in London.
Four of Ogier's WRC triumphs had come with Volkswagen. However with the German manufacturer opting out of WRC, Ogier had to look for a new team.
Initially there were talks to run two Volkswagen's privately with support from ace Qatari driver and two-time champion Nasser Al Attiyah, but that did not materialise.
So he switched to M-Sport at the start of the 2017 season and won the title again with two victories and seven podium finishes in 13 events.
"This season has been very exciting with some of the closest-fought competition for years. As a driver, I definitely want to be a part of that. A lot was being talked about and written as to where I would go. It was clear in my mind that I want to stay with this team for next year," added Ogier, who will start testing the 2018 Ford Fiesta WRC in mid December.