As Sébastien Ogier goes into his final World Rally Championship season, will fans see a more cautious approach from the six-time world champion?
That’s what he hinted in the wake of the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally, where he narrowly beat Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans to second place as both lost out to Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville following a huge weekend-long fight.
Neuville made up most of his ground on the final day, when Ogier admitted he “didn’t have enough confidence to push to the limit in these conditions” – something he added was “a little bit a resume of the weekend”.
Getting older will not make me change this - maybe even the opposite because that’s maybe logical that the older you get, the less you are going to take crazy risksSébastien Ogier
The 36-year-old explained how he’d tried to minimize how many risks he was taking through the weekend.
“I was sometimes feeling good and having some very good pace but in some other conditions… basically the more tricky it was the less I dared to take the risk,” said Ogier.
“I lost the rally actually only on a very small percentage of the event, only on a very small section where it was tricky. That’s OK.
“One more thing to take into consideration is I stuck to my strategy and stayed in my comfort zone to not push the things more than I feel them and I always worked like this my whole career.
“I think getting older will not make me change this – maybe even the opposite because that’s maybe logical that the older you get, the less you are going to take crazy risks.”
Ogier added that it was clear Neuville had been pushing closer to the edge during his charge back to victory.
“Obviously Thierry did good times but at the same time he took a lot of risks,” said Ogier.
“We’ve seen that a couple of times – like he had a broken rim at the end of the [Sunday] loop.
“It means there was an impact somewhere with a wall.”