Monday | 01 Mar 2021

Ogier: No regrets after disappointing Arctic weekend

World champion Sébastien Ogier has no regrets after his risk-all efforts to climb the leaderboard at Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox ended with his Toyota Yaris buried in a snowbank.

The Frenchman lost the championship lead after going off the road in Saturday’s final test in an attempt to regain time lost when he opened the roads in Friday’s first leg.

 He climbed from ninth to sixth, but landing his Yaris in a snowbank on the final corner of the Siikakämä test meant he retired from day two. He returned on Sunday to score a single bonus point in the Wolf Power Stage. 

“When you lose 40sec immediately on the Friday night, it was always going to be difficult,” said Ogier, who spent much of Saturday battling for sixth with Oliver Solberg and team-mate Takamoto Katsuta.

 “When the temperature came warmer, it was normal like it used to be in Sweden to be first on the road. 

“I was in sixth place and I knew I had to take the risk to try to make more [points] from the weekend. I can say I’m not so disappointed, I don’t regret to push and try. I did everything I could and felt I drove well for most of the event, it was just a small mistake in the last corner of the stage.”

Ogier lost the championship lead to 20-year-old Toyota team-mate Kalle Rovanperä, who became the youngest driver ever to lead the series.

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The seven-time world champion heads to next month’s Croatia Rally third in the standings and level on points with his other team-mate Elfyn Evans. The pair are eight points down on Rovanperä

 “Now,” added Ogier, “we look to the next event in Croatia. I don’t know so much about it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.”

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