At the beginning of October, Ingrassia announced that he would be stepping away from the World Rally Championship at the end of the current campaign. Since then, it has been confirmed the vacant seat will be filled by Benjamin Veillas on those events Ogier starts in 2022.

Ogier and Ingrassia joined forces back in 2006 and quickly rose through the sport’s ranks, winning the Junior WRC title in 2008 and making their WRC debut that same season with Citroen's Junior Team. Their dominance really took hold when they signed for Volkswagen Motorsport, winning four of their titles between 2013 and 2016.

Two more followed at M-Sport Ford in 2017 and 2018, with the seventh arriving in Toyota colours in 2020. Victory at Rally Monza over Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin by 7.3 seconds also bumped their win count as a partnership up to 54 to cap off a perfect defence of their crown.

"I am super happy winning this title," said Ogier. "The biggest emotion today was the small one – I would like to know what Julien is thinking – but it was such a weird feeling knowing that’s it now and that is really the end now.

"We achieved much more than we were dreaming 15 years ago when we met. This scenario to end up this way is the best way possible. One more unforgettable memory that I have with Julien. Hard to describe all what we feel right now.

"There is also this emptiness. All the pressure the attention and the questions and expectation, whatever. You achieve it and it’s amazing and then you feel empty a bit. It is unique days but you need also more time to appreciate the success.

"I am going to miss him - I am sure about it. When you build that for so many years and you have so many automatic things working together. Basically, we don’t need to talk so much to understand each other.

"There was never any reason in my whole career to try to change Julien. He had the same target and the same commitment to it. It was simple and I never had to push him to do anything. We had the same mission from the beginning," added Ogier.

Despite stepping down full-time from the WRC, Ogier is returning for the opening round of the 2022 Championship at Rallye Monte Carlo in January. No other appearances have been confirmed by the Frenchman, who is going to focus on endurance racing with Toyota, although he indicated New Zealand was one event he would like to return to.

In 2010 he came close to his maiden WRC victory there only to spin three corners from the end of the stage and hand the win to his boss at Toyota Gazoo Racing, Jari-Matti Latvala.

“Monte-Carlo is pretty sure at least and that is it,” said Ogier. “New Zealand sounds good. It is an amazing place and an amazing rally. I have only been there once and Jari beat me by two seconds. It was one of the craziest final stages I have ever done in my career.”