Rally Croatia winner Sébastien Ogier has received a suspended one WRC event ban for driving away from the incident scene whilst a police officer was still standing in front of his car this morning.
Ogier was involved in a road section incident with another car on his way to SS17 this morning. The Frenchman “stopped to check that nobody was injured and shared his contact information with the other driver.”
Ogier explained that he felt he could leave the scene because Jarmo Lehtinen was on site to deal with the matter. “When the police arrived on the scene and as they did not speak any English, a team member [Lehtinen] was requested on site to carry on with the paperwork.”
According to Ogier, the information that he could leave the scene wasn’t shared with the police officer who was standing in front of his car.
“Once Mr Lehtinen had arrived on the scene, there was a telephone conversation between the rally control and a police officer on the accident scene. It seemed clear that the crew could have continued but, according to Mr Ogier, this information was not shared with the police officer standing in front of the car. As the crew had already given all their information and as a team representative was on site, Mr Ogier felt he could leave.”
“Mr Ogier added that he fully understands that this should not have happened and that this makes his behaviour to look very bad as videoclips are spreading in the social media. Mr Ogier apologized for this offence and promised to contact the driver of the other car involved in the accident and also the police officer who was standing in front of the car to present his apologizes also to them.
The FIA has given Ogier a €5000,- fine and a suspended one WRC event ban for breaching Articles 12.2.1.c and 12.2.1.h of the FIA International Sporting Code. Even though such a traffic accident is not necessarily a breach of the regulations: “The behaviour of Mr Ogier cannot be accepted. By driving the car and pushing the police officer aside, Mr Ogier caused an unsafe situation. The incident is prejudicial to the interests of motorsport.”
If Ogier commits a breach of Articles 12.2.1.c or 12.2.1.h of the FIA International Sporting Code before 26 October 2021, he will receive a one WRC event ban.
Ogier received another €2000,- fine as he ignored a red traffic light after he left the incident scene. “The driver stated that after the road accident he was still shocked and did not observe the traffic lights as he should have had. He apologized for his lapse.”
Toyota was reprimand as a team-member [Lehtinen] was seen on the traffic incident scene of Ogier. Which is not allowed according to Article 56.2.1 of the FIA WRC Sporting Regulations: “The presence of team personnel or any team conveyance (including helicopters) is prohibited within 1 kilometre of its competing car.”
Ott Tänak received a suspended one WRC event ban for driving one a wheel rim back to service at this year’s Rallye Monte Carlo.
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool