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Toyota picked Tanak over Ogier for 2018 World Rally Championship

Ott Tanak

Toyota's senior management preferred to pick Ott Tanak for the 2018 World Rally Championship over five-time WRC champion Sebastien Ogier, team principal Tommi Makinen has revealed.

Ogier tested the Yaris WRC at the end of 2016, but elected to go to M-Sport.

He was never truly in contention for a 2018 seat with Toyota.

Makinen said the fact 30-year-old Tanak is almost four years younger than Ogier made him a better long-term option, but added that senior officials at Toyota Motor Corporation had also preferred to go with Tanak.

"I know that Ott doesn't have the massive victories and I would say that this keeps him more hungry further into the future," Makinen told Autosport.

"That is a little bit why Toyota is supporting quite a lot to bring new and younger drivers, this is their philosophy.

"Ogier is still there and he could keep driving for some years.

Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford WRC Australia 2017

"We know his experience and what he has done is far more than Ott and we know that Sebastien could be the safest choice, but we have to listen to the way Japan is seeing the world.

"I am happy with the driver line-up we have for next season."

Tanak is replacing Juho Hanninen at Toyota for 2018, and joining Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi in the three-car line-up.

Ogier is now poised to make a final decision between retirement and remaining with the M-Sport Ford team with which he scored a fifth straight title this season.

Citroen attempted to sign Ogier for 2018 but could not agree terms.

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