Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have won a sixth FIA World Rally Championship title, after a thrilling final round in Australia.

On their final event with the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, the French duo – who wear Stilo WRC DES Zero 8860 helmets – discuss the fight and relief of lifting the title again, and who they kept their promise to Malcolm Wilson.

Sébastien Ogier
Three drivers came to Rally Australia with the chance of taking the title, but it’s yours – title number six. How does it feel?
“Yeah, I think you guess that I’m super-happy and satisfied with the championship. It’s been such an intense season. It was almost the last stage of the rally when we won so, of course, the pressure was high. But the moment it happened was a bit strange; when Ott stopped we were in the road section – it was killing a little bit the moment. But then it’s relief. We made it after definitely the toughest fight we had to do. But this is a great feeling.”

You kept your cool – that was key this weekend?
“I think this was what we did the whole weekend. We made no mistakes and there were quite a few mistakes from the others which cost some to retire and that’s the way we won the championship this weekend. The season was up and down and we also had some downs. In the middle of the season, somehow we missed our luck and made some small mistakes and it was not looking great. But we never gave up the fight back. In GB it was a very important win that brought us some big points. We finished well on the last rallies of the season and what we have done makes me so happy for my whole team and especially for Malcolm [Wilson]. To offer them another title they so very well deserved, they worked really hard to achieve that and I rarely see such commitment in my career. I have to say, it’s very hard to say I am leaving, but it’s like… leaving a girl you love; why are we doing that? Why now when we achieve everything in the last two years. But now we have an exciting adventure waiting for us and I am also looking forward to this one now. At least we say goodbye in the best way.”

You’ve formed a real bond with M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson…
“Of course I have mentioned a couple of times this great human adventure that we had together. Of course, it’s with Malcolm, but it’s more than him – it’s with the whole team. We will keep this forever and look back on it and it will always be something special in our eyes… and a good opportunity to drink a good bottle of wine!”

Julien Ingrassia
Julien congratulations on the sixth co-drivers’ title – how do you rate this one?
“It’s difficult to choose, it’s like with your favourite children – you cannot pick up on one. We had a beautiful journey in two years, it was a human adventure. We did this together and we can enjoy this one tonight. This rally has been like the whole season: up and down, one hour it was up and then down. We had two promises when we arrived at this rally – Seb said to Malcolm we will win and we will leave the team with some happiness… and we will bring the number one to the reds at Citroen.”

There was lots of pressure at Rally Australia, it must have been exhausting reading the pace notes?
“I still have a bit of strength for tonight to celebrate, but I’m not sure about another day. But everybody who could have the chance to go and sit alongside Seb knows what I speak about. It’s a strange job to be a co-driver, you know you have a lot of tasks to accomplish and you pay the price if you make the smallest mistake. You have no steering wheel but you have the adrenaline and you want to give him the information – especially when you have 160kph between the trees and then you have the slow corner. This is something special and if you have one ride then you try to understand it.”