Citroen Racing has pulled out of the World Rally Championship after Sebastian Ogier left the team “without a first-class driver available” for 2020.

With Ogier retiring from WRC at the end of 2019, Citroen has cited his exit as a reason behind its own withdrawal from the championship.

“Our decision to leave the WRC programme at the end of 2019 is motivated by the choice of Sebastien Ogier leaving Citroen Racing. This is obviously a situation we did not want but we were not considering the 2020 season without Sebastien,” Linda Jackson, Director of Citroen, said.

“I would like to thank the ed teams of Citroen Racing, for their passion and commitment. Part of Citroen’s DNA is intimately tied to the rally and we are proud to be one of the most successful brands in the history of the WRC.”

Ogier returned to Citroen at the start of 2019 on a two-year deal but the six-time world champion has withdrawn from racing at the end of this season.

Citroen’s parent company PSA are currently in negotiations with Fiat Chrysler over a merger which is reportedly set to streamline the organisations’ motorsport activities. Citroen’s sister company within the PSA group Peugeot has also announced its plans to enter the World Endurance Champion’s new Hypercar category in 2022.

“Our matrix organisation will allow our motorsport experts to showcase their talent in the sporting disciplines of the championships in which the brands of our Group are engaged,” Jean Marc Finot, director of PSA Motorsport, added.