Citroen is leaving the world rally championship with immediate effect after six-times world champion Sebastien Ogier announced his departure from the team.

Citroen Racing said it had made the decision “due to the absence of a first-class driver available for the 2020 season” but commercial factors were also a major consideration.

The motorsport.com website said Ogier was expected to be announced as a Toyota driver next week.

Toyota’s Estonian Ott Tanak won the driver’s title in Spain last month, ending Ogier’s six-year reign, but announced four days later that he was joining Hyundai for 2020.

Hyundai secured the manufacturers’ crown when this month’s season-ending Australian race was called off due to the threat of bushfires.

Citroen won nine successive drivers’ titles with Sebastien Loeb and Ogier between 2004 and 2012 and eight manufacturers’ championships.

This season they and Ogier, who had returned after starting out with Citroen in 2009, ended third overall in both championship standings.

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