Sébastien Ogier has toyed with the idea of winning the Rallye Monte-Carlo for the ninth time, but he has seen it vanish at the very best, that is, with a special from the end. In PS16 the 8-time Toyota world champion had to deal with a puncture in the left front tire, which led him to lose over 34 “to Loeb (winner of the test) and also the leadership of the race.
In the last test, then, with 9 “5 to recover, Ogier tried to give everything, recovering 9 seconds from Loeb. An enormous amount of time in just 14 kilometers of practice, but insufficient. Half a second would have been enough for Loeb and Galmiche. to bring home the success, but to these 5 tenths were added another 10 “for early departure.
Ogier started too early, disengaging the clutch when the test light had not yet exhausted the countdown before turning green. So the commissioners gave Séb a fair penalty. At the end of the race, Ogier explained the early start in this way.
“I felt I was on the limit. To my surprise the engine mode entered before the start started to have a different sound about 2 seconds before the start. I thought the engine was losing revs or pressure, or even power. This bothered me. . I wanted to try to start strong, I knew I had to do it because I would have to try to recover 9 “5 at Sébastien, I knew it would be difficult”.
“I think in the end it was a good performance. I tried to give it my all, I went over the limit on a couple of occasions, but we managed to keep the car on the road. In the end it was better to have this penalty of 10” for an early start, without this the gap between me and Séb would have been only half a second and I would have been even more frustrated! “.
Ogier will not do all the WRC this season, but only a few selected events. For this reason, not having to race for the world title, he started the World Championship with a more serene approach. But this, by his own admission, lasted a short time, no more than a moment, before he found himself 100% involved in the race with the clear intention of winning it once again.
“I went through this Rallye Monte-Carlo a bit more relaxed, even if it was only for a moment, as you may have noticed. I really wanted to enjoy this rally, it’s wonderful. Sometimes I didn’t notice any difference compared to the past. I wanted to give my best and try to win “.
“There were several questions to answer before this rally related to the car and reliability, but also who would be able to fight for the win. At first we were joking, saying it would have been better to race here with an R5 ! The team did a great job. The hybrid looks a bit like the first time you have sex: very intense, then, after a second, it’s all over. It’s a great start! “.
The top two finishers of the Rallye Monte-Carlo 2022 presented themselves at the start with new navigators at their side. Sébastien Loeb had Isabelle Galmiche, while Ogier had Benjamin Veillas, his navigator during some tests in past seasons. The champion from Gap told how it went the first time in the race with Veillas, saying he was very satisfied with his work.
“Benjamin did well, honestly. We have to admit that it is not at all easy to get into these cars that way, because they are very fast. And when you have never done the work he did at this level, the pressure on his shoulders is a lot. I’m very happy with what Benjamin did over the weekend. Clearly there are some details he can improve on, because they weren’t 100% perfect, but no one can get on these cars and do a perfect job on the first try. I’m very happy with the work he has done and we have made good progress together “.
“Sunday I think it was almost a harder day for him than for me, because I have enjoyed several victories in my life, over the course of my career. It would have been fantastic for him to win in Monte-Carlo, but second place is It was still a great result and something special as it was for Isabelle (Galmiche, ed). Both had a great rally, but only one can win. Today luck was not on our side, but I’m sure we will win some races together “.
To conclude, Ogier wanted to congratulate the team for the preparation of a car like the GR Yaris Rally1 which, on balance, proved to be the best in terms of pure performance despite not managing to win the first race of the World Championship. Rally 2022. This has led Ogier to underline that, in all probability, we will be able to see him again at the start of the Rallye Monte-Carlo in the next few years.
“Beyond the result, it is necessary to underline the great work done by the team, which has built a new car very different from the others. I expected to have many more problems. We had them here and there, but we were able to fight like the old ones. times and I would never have said that this was the debut of the GR Yaris Rally1 “.
“The car was fantastic to drive and I think it also gave a good show. My goal was to win, not to be second, so I can’t say I’m 100% satisfied. But we can smile, we gave our best, but the fate decided otherwise and we had to settle for second place. But it was fun in the car and now we have a good reason to come back again next year. I’m not sure though my wife likes the last thing I said. .. “, concluded Ogier.
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