Evans urges Ogier to stay at M-Sport

Evans urges Ogier to stay at M-Sport
By AutoSport

07/11/2017 at 17:48Updated

Rally GB winner Elfyn Evans has urged World Rally champion team-mate Sebastien Ogier to stick with M-Sport for the 2018 season.

Evans is set to move back into M-Sport's 'works' squad next year from its DMACK-branded entry but the rest of the team's line-up is unclear.

Ott Tanak has already committed to leaving M-Sport for Toyota, while Ogier is weighing up his options.

Asked if he felt ready to lead recently-crowned champion team M-Sport if Ogier left, Evans told Autosport: "I really hope he doesn't go.

"I've enjoyed working with him and Julien [Ingrassia, co-driver] and I've really learned from them this season.

"This team has achieved so much this season, but moving forward I think there's even more that we could do together.

"It would be such a shame to change the team too much, I'd love the chance to pick up next season where we finish at the end of this year if he's still with the team."

He added that becoming M-Sport team leader was "really not something I've even thought about" yet.

"Ott and I did it in 2015, when we were both at a similar level and relatively inexperienced," said Evans.

"But now it's a different situation. I wouldn't say I have more confidence now, I'd say I have a different type of confidence.

"I wouldn't see it as being a big problem [if Ogier departed], but I really hope he doesn't."

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson does not expect any news on Ogier's future before the WRC finale in Australia later this month.

"There's still nothing to report I'm afraid," Wilson told Autosport.

"I know what we have to do, I know where we have to get to and that's what I'm working on now.

"I've got more meetings this week, but I can't see things being sorted before Australia."

M-Sport sealed the WRC manufacturers' championship with a round to spare in Britain, where Ogier also secured his fifth straight drivers' title and first with the team.