M-Sport says it will have no qualms about employing team orders to ensure Sebastien Ogier wins the 2017 World Rally Championship.Ogier’s former employer Volkswagen preferred to avoid team orders, though Ogier still took four straight titles from 2013-16 during his time there.
But given the WRC’s closer multi-team 2017 title battle – which Ogier currently leads by 16 points – M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson says he will do whatever is necessary.
“I want to win the drivers’ championship and this is the best chance I’ve had and, from where I’m sitting right now, it could be my last chance to do that,” Wilson told Autosport.
“If I have to do it [use team orders], I will do.
“If I think it’s safe to do it – in terms of where the drivers are in comparison to their rivals – and I have to do it then there’s no doubt, I’ll do it.”
Ogier was beaten by both Elfyn Evans and Ott Tanak at last month’s Rally Argentina, leading to the question of what Wilson’s stance would be if roles were reversed and Tanak or Evans needed Ogier’s help.
“I suppose that’s the ultimate question, isn’t it?” said Wilson.
“I’m sure Seb wouldn’t be happy, but if things turned around and Ott was the driver in with the best chance then I’d have to do it.
“Let’s face it: I had to do it with Carlos [Sainz] and Colin [McRae].
“If we get to that position, then it’s a great position to be in.
“Yes, it’s not the best part of the job and it’s a difficult thing to deal with, but it’s a great place to be.”