Relegated far from the best due to a puncture from the 2nd special of the Croatian rally, this Friday morning, Sébastien Ogier finished this first day in 5th place. The French driver, furious with his tyres, nevertheless punctured again during the last special.
With a minute and thirty seconds lost from the second special, Sébastien Ogier knows that it will take a small miracle for him to win the Croatian rally. The French driver, if he has probably given up all chances of victory from the start, does not intend to give up. Seventh after this SS2 which had seen him die after the start then stop to change his wheel, the Gapençais indeed had the merit of recovering a little health over the stages that followed and to find a little color in the ranking.
At the end of the first day of this fourth round of the season, the current leader of the general classification with three points ahead of Thierry Neuville although he only planned to play seven of the thirteen meetings appearing on the calendar thus occupies 5th place in the provisional classification, still nearly one minute and a half (1’23”7) from his Belgian rival, who currently occupies the controls with a little less than six seconds ahead of Elfyn Evans. The spell, however, did Ogier no favors again.
Ogier: “It’s like that when you drive with Pirellis”
During the last special, the hero of the start of the season – he won in Monte-Carlo and in Mexico during the two rallies he has competed in so far – was indeed the victim of a… new puncture , which this time cost him 6”6. Otherwise, the successor to Sébastien Loeb in the throne of the WRC would have taken time from the one who must be content for the moment to be his runner-up in the World Championship standings. The rest of the weekend could allow Ogier to narrow the gap with Neuville.
It seems indeed difficult to imagine that he will not know better days than this Friday marked by his two punctures. The Toyota driver also had a lot of trouble digesting, without losing his temper with the quality of his tyres. “Another puncture. It’s like that when you drive with Pirellis »cursed the one who does not imagine being crowned by participating in so few events. “The championship is no longer my priority. Otherwise, I would have done a full season”, assures the person concerned, who would not spit on a third success this season. But it’s gone badly.