Ogier put ego aside in Greece to focus on WRC title race

Sebastien Ogier says he put “his ego aside” to produce a “clever” drive at the Acropolis Rally to focus on his quest for an eighth World Rally Championship title.

Ogier put ego aside in Greece to focus on WRC title race

The factory Toyota driver was in contention for victory after Friday, sitting 3.9s behind leader Kalle Rovanpera, having opened the road on the gravel stages, before settling for third 1m11.3s shy of his winning Toyota team-mate at the finish.

Ogier revealed he elected to focus on protecting a podium position for the remainder of the event once title rivals Elfyn Evans and Thierry Neuville were significantly delayed by gearbox and power steering issues respectively on Friday.

The decision was helped by Rovanpera’s stunning pace which would have required significant risks being undertaken to attempt to catch the runaway leader.

Ogier admitted it was difficult to witness Rovanpera and Hyundai’s Ott Tanak pushing hard, but is relieved to finish third and extend his championship lead to 44 points over Evans.

"It has been my strategy all weekend," said Ogier, when asked about his decision to protect third position.

"I think we had a very strong start on Friday opening the road and we were very close to the lead which was much better than expected, but then on Saturday morning we started with the correct rhythm I would say.

"But all these sections were where we struggled with the visibility on the recce. I stayed too much in my comfort zone and I lost quite a lot of time in all the tricky more slippery sections I would say.

"At the same time Kalle was just flying and Ott was also really fast, and of course with what happened to Thierry and Elfyn on day one we had to be clever and I had to put my ego aside and say, "just let them go and not worry'.

"Even if that is not the most enjoyable sometimes I think I did a very clever race. I think it is a very positive step for the championship."

Sébastien Ogier, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Sébastien Ogier, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Reflecting on the event, Ogier said it had been “super exhausting” as crews were up late each night watching videos of stage routes after heavy rain and fog earlier in the week had made making pacenotes on the recce difficult.

Read Also:

“I’m happy to reach the end of the weekend It has been super exhausting,” added Ogier.

“I’m not used to watching so much video like the young guys, but I had to do it as the recce was so difficult with the visibility and grip, you had to confirm it[the stage conditions] on the video.

“The nights were pretty short so I think I will sleep well.”

shares
comments

Related video

Oliver Solberg secures Hyundai WRC return in Spain

Previous article

Oliver Solberg secures Hyundai WRC return in Spain

Next article

M-Sport refugee Suninen secures Hyundai WRC drive

M-Sport refugee Suninen secures Hyundai WRC drive
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021