There’s something enormously soothing in a recognizable voice. Just ask Sébastien Ogier.
For 168 of the 174 World Rally Championship events he has started, he had Julien Ingrassia in his ear, keeping him on the straight and narrow. Keeping him on the right road.
Benjamin Veillas stepped in after Ingrassia called time on his own stellar career at the end of last season, but it’s this latest change, from Veillas to Vincent Landais, which is really working for Ogier.
While a puncture might have skittled Ogier’s chance of a maiden victory alongside Landais, the eight-time champion was delighted to hear elements of an old friend in his ear.
Ogier told DirtFish: “I only know the voice of Vincent a little bit from the onboards of Pierre-Louis [Loubet], but not so much.
“I mean, [it’s] incredible for the first day, when you think we almost never test together – only a couple of hours in Spain.
“It’s surprisingly… I say surprisingly, I suspected that he would have good potential but to do it straight away like this, so far it’s really good and it’s funny because some people working with me told me: ‘His voice reminds me of Julien often in the car.’
“Honestly, he’s done very well. I have nothing to say, I mean nothing bad to say, only positives. Honestly, he fit in very well in the car, the notes are coming perfectly so at the moment it’s working well.
“I’m sure it will be good and it’s true that after a day with him in the car I can say that there’s definitely some situation where the pronunciation is not so different to Julien and somehow it’s a good memory then.
“Like I say, it’s all positive after one day and that’s what you need as a driver, being comfortable and having the confidence 100% with the guy sitting beside you, and so far it’s really there.”
And you don’t need me to tell you about Ogier’s success with Ingrassia. Of the 168 rallies he started listening in to that famously French Ingrassia, he finished on the podium more than half the time and he won 54 times.
More of the same from Ogier and Landais? No reason why not.