Monte Carlo Rally winner Sébastien Ogier and second placed Kalle Rovanperä have both called for the famous event to be moved further north in the future to guarantee more snow and ice.
The Monte has solely been based in Monaco for each of the past two seasons, but from 2007 to 2021 it had either been rooted in Valence or Gap before heading down to Monaco for Sunday’s final leg.
Conditions were unusually dry – with snow and ice at a real premium – last weekend, and, except for a couple of stages, it was a similar story on the 2022 edition of the Monte too.
Ogier, who has won more Monte Carlo Rallies than any other driver, thinks the organizer should consider moving the rally’s base closer to the Alps to combat this problem.
“Last year was the same if you removed Sisteron which was unfortunately canceled. If you do the rally mainly in the south like we did since last year it’s a big chance this happens,” Ogier said when asked what conditions were like on this year’s event.
“Global warming is there and here you start low in the stages, you will always have Tarmac and maybe some snow on the top. I don’t want to say [Gap just] because I’m from Gap, there are other places up there.
“I heard maybe there is a chance it’s coming back there; I think it adds more to the event – it brings back the tire choice and makes the race more interesting on beautiful stages. Here we had a nice Tarmac rally on beautiful roads.
“The first day I was pushing and trying to make some difference, the second day I was trying to secure my position with no risks from the cut – keeping in mind the misfortune I had with the tires [last year].
“I knew I could go faster but I didn’t want to take the risk.”
Drivers had 24 super-soft Pirellis and just 20 softs to choose from last weekend, making tire strategy a key talking point as always but regarding tire management, not tire gambles.
The lack of snowy conditions meant that drivers preferred to use as many soft tires as possible, but didn’t have many at their disposal.
Ogier’s comments were echoed by his fellow world champion team-mate Rovanperä when he was asked by DirtFish if the Monte needed more snow than it got this year.
“Yeah, I think so,” Rovanperä said.
“It’s a totally different kind of rally when it’s dry like this. Everyone is pushing like in a full Tarmac rally. It’s completely different.
“We need to push hard, and we don’t have enough tires to make it really last. It’s not the best.”
Elfyn Evans agreed, telling DirtFish “it looks like” the event would benefit from moving north again.
“Especially with the tires and everything we have it’s been a bit so and so today [on Sunday] let’s say, everybody saving tires it’s always crap when the rally ends like that if you know what I mean.
“I think for sure it’s been an unusually dry week but of course the risk is always much higher to have that when you’re further south.
“I think if we’d have been in Gap this week then for sure we wouldn’t have had a dry weekend, completely.”