Why Ogier had “one of the messiest stages” of his career

The Toyota star explains why his Croatia powerstage was so scruffy


Sébastien Ogier didn’t win his eight World Rally Championship titles by being scruffy.

He won them by being able to consistently take his car right to the very edge of its performance capabilities, without even losing a hint of control.

But on Croatia Rally we saw a different side to Ogier, one he is hoping will not reappear again anytime soon.

There’s no denying that Ogier was the fastest driver on the Croatian stages, and were it not for picking up a puncture early on Friday, it’s very likely he would have gone on to win.

But instead, he fell to the back of the field and had to work hard to regain lost ground.

It wasn’t only that though. He was locked into a tight battle with his team-mate Kalle Rovanperä who also suffered the same fate on Friday.

And on the powerstage you could see just how hard Ogier was pushing to try and take the fight to the reigning champion.

Ogier’s Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 was sliding all over the place, having several moments on the 8.75-mile Zagorska Sela – Kumrovec test.

He didn’t go off the road, but at times it did look like it could be a real possibility.

It was not the Ogier we are accustomed to seeing, and when the powerstage was over, he breathed a sigh of relief that it was all done and dusted.

“Today I didn’t have the pace of Kalle and well done to him,” Ogier said to DirtFish.

“Obviously the fact that this stage was run last year and he was testing there also before was always a challenge for me, and I clearly see that on the first pass I didn’t have his pace.


“I would have needed to take too many risks to match that.

“Second pass I had it, but it was already a bit late.

“And then on the powerstage we tried something with the tires which didn’t work at all and we had massive understeer everywhere.

“I had much too many moments for my liking and I was glad to finish the rally.”

Although Ogier was pleased that he didn’t need to face any more stages on Sunday, his performance yielded fifth overall, collecting sufficient points to remain at the top of the championship standings.

But that wasn’t good enough for him.

“I mean, the only thing I can say is I fought hard this weekend,” he said.

“Yeah, I feel I was not really rewarded from all the effort for sure, but that’s motorsport sometimes.

“And yeah, we still bring some valuable points I believe from our side. So yeah, on to the next one.”