In this week's round-up of motorsport news and gossip, Citroën blames Ogier switch for shock World Rally Championship exit, Albon gets nod from Red Bull, an old dog wins new races and Nascar gets more electrifying than usual.
We also name the week's rising star, and highlight some of the greatest machinery ever to enter a motor race.
Citroën's Ogier blame game
Citroën has sensationally laid the blame for its withdrawal from the World Rally Championship on Sébastien Ogier following his decision to switch to Toyota.
The six-time consecutive champion rejoined Citroën for 2019, but had a tempestuous season as Toyota’s Ott Tänak beat him to the title. The move to axe the programme was expected, but it was thought the PSA Group’s focus on its Formula E attack with DS and forthcoming Peugeot sports car return would be blamed. Instead, the firm said that “without Sébastien Ogier and without any first-class driver available to fight for a world title, Citroën takes the decision to withdraw”. CEO Linda Jackson added: “We obviously have not wished this situation, but could not imagine 2020 without Sébastien.”
Rally Australia cancelled
Rally Australia, which was set to be the final round of this year’s WRC, was cancelled due to bush fires in New South Wales. Instead, drivers, teams and event organisers aided the fire relief effort, organising a charity auction and making substantial donations. The cancellation meant that Hyundai secured its first WRC makes’ title.
Albon gets his reward
A late-race clash with Lewis Hamilton in the Brazilian GP might have cost Alex Albon his first F1 podium, but some good news for the Anglo-Thai driver: he’s been confirmed to stay at Red Bull in 2020. Albon had switched to the team from Toro Rosso mid-season, instantly impressing with his pace.