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Ogier puts off retirement and opts to stay at Toyota

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(Reuters) - Six times world rally champion Sebastien Ogier announced on Friday he had shelved retirement plans and signed up for another year with Toyota after a COVID-19 affected 2020 season.

The 36-year-old Frenchman is still in the running for a seventh title but is 14 points behind Welsh team mate Elfyn Evans with one round remaining, the Monza Rally in Italy next month.

The season has been limited to just seven rounds due to the pandemic, with Ogier winning in Mexico in March.

“We have had a short season with only a few rallies, but enough for me to see that I really enjoy working with the team, I enjoy driving this car,” said Ogier, who had planned to retire at the end of 2020.

“The fact that I had to spend like most people a lot of time at home this year, I didn’t do the last season that I had expected to do and to end my career with such a strange season was not great.

“So, for sure, that was one of the reasons to change my mind about my retirement. The plan is to keep pushing in 2021 and hopefully have a better, normal season and try to push for a last title.”

Ogier won four titles with Volkswagen from 2013-16 and then two with M-Sport Ford in 2017-18. He has won 48 world championship rallies.

He joined Toyota from Citroen at the end of last year.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris

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