In an official communication uploaded onto the Rally Finland website this evening, stewards said it had been brought to the attention of the Clerk of the Course that “the driver of car No.1 did not have his helmet strap correctly fastened throughout SS12”.

The report filed with the Clerk of the Course – Kai Tarkiainen – had been supported with photo and video evidence and stewards deemed the incident to be in breach of Art. 53.1 of the 2021 FIA WRC Sporting Regulations.

Ogier, his co-driving team-mate Julien Ingrassia and Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Sporting Director Kaj Lindstrom were summoned before the stewards for a hearing into the offence.

During this it was noted that seven-time champion Ogier “had no reason to explain why the strap would have come undone during SS12”, adding: “There was no rush to fasten the helmet at the stage start and it was unlike the incident in Monte-Carlo Rally 2021 where he simply forgot to fasten the helmet strap.

“The photo and video evidence show the strap not fastened correctly and it being loose throughout the stage. Mr Ogier said that there was no way that he would only half-fasten the helmet, it was either done properly or not at all.”

While acknowledging no competitor would intentionally begin a special stage without properly checking their safety equipment, the stewards noted that “competitors must recognise that if their protective equipment is not secure or not worn correctly on a special stage, they must stop and correct it before continuing. By not doing so it risks them and perhaps others from injury”.

Due to Ogier been summoned before stewards at Rally Monte Carlo back in January for a similar offence, the original 400 fine was doubled.

The 60 second time penalty does not affect the Frenchman's fifth place, however, due to him being almost two minutes ahead of M-Sport Ford’s Gus Greensmith when this is applied.