Everybody wondered. Nobody was sure. Would Monza work? As a round of the World Rally Championship? As the final round of the World Rally Championship?
Post-Monza Rally, our world champion has spoken. And Sébastien said yes, yes and yes.
And, happily, on this point the now-seven-time champion has found common ground with an Italian whom he hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye.
Are you ready? Andrea Adamo agrees with Sébastien Ogier.
“I know!” Adamo told DirtFish. “F*****g hell! It doesn’t happen all the time, but on this subject, we are agreeing!”
Ogier said: “At some point, we also thought: ‘Will it be enough? Will it be challenging enough to really make a world rally event?’
“I think we have to really congratulate the organizer, the people who made the event happen and gave us the chance to compete this weekend, because, at the end, it’s been a very challenging weekend.”
What’s more Ogier wants to see Monza back.
“This mixture of having the show here, plus these really beautiful stages in the mountain make a good challenge for us,” he added.
“For me, it is worth it as a world championship event. So why not maybe coming back in the future? Honestly, having maybe even more time to prepare it, to make it even better for a second pass… okay, maybe the gravel section now are turning to be quite horrendous at the end of the weekend, but I think the main word is ‘congrats’ to the organizers.
“I think they’ve done the best they could around here. But of course, the gravel section… I mean, nobody expected to have such a weather for the whole weekend. We’ve been under water here for the whole week.
“It’s crazy, so I think, of course, the gravel section suffered a bit more and some sections in the powerstage even with the gravel [-spec] car it would have been rough. So we were praying that the car holds [for] this test.
“If we will have to come back maybe there is some parts you can improve. You know, you can always do better. So, as a first time here, it has been good. I am convinced that there is potential to come back and to make it even better.
“We had the chance to finish our championship in the safe way, I believe. I mean, our [precautionary service park] bubble was definitely respected here and of course, as I was mentioning, why not coming back in the future with a lot of fans here?”
From a co-driver’s side, seven-time world champion Julien Ingrassia agreed with the man on his left.
“I know how many people are working there to create such an event, so I really would like to say congrats to them,” said Ingrassi.
“I think everything went well, they did it well and I can tell you that it was very weird here to go in the stage in one way, then the other way on the other day. And to put all the chicanes, all the signals in place, working during the night with this weather and everything with no mistakes from their part…I have to say that they did a really great job.”
Adamo said Monza Rally offered a unique opportunity to deliver a more fan-oriented round of the WRC which would tick more marketing boxes than ever before.
“We can do many things with this event,” said Adamo. “The organizers have done something very nice in such a short time. But to come here with the possibility of the spectators, the guests and everything.
“You can do many things and, on the other hand, you can also justify the millions that our manufacturers are putting in this sport and so you can really create a big feedback, a big attention to this kind of events.
“I think we all agree that a world championship done like this… maybe no, but to have some events like this, when you have a structure like this, I think it would be deserved. So I want to say, if I can, but I don’t want to be called partisan Italian, Italian mafia as I’ve been named enough about these things… thank you for all who have made this possible because to finish the season in this way with another rally has been great in my opinion. Thank you for the job you have done.”