Monday | 23 Jan 2017

Ogier reserves judgement

Sébastien Ogier believes it is too early to compare the new breed of World Rally Cars after their first appearance at Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Ogier won the season opening event on his competitive debut in a Ford Fiesta WRC, beating rivals in similar 2017-spec cars from Citroën, Toyota and Hyundai.

Ogier and team-mate Ott Tänak were on course to make it a one-two for the new Fiesta, before an engine problem for Tänak allowed Jari-Matti Latvala to take second in a Yaris WRC.

But the Fiesta didn't have it all its own way. Citroën and Hyundai also collected stage wins with their new models, while Thierry Neuville led the rally for 12 stages in Hyundai's i20 Coupe until he crashed.

After four days of competition, on road conditions that are unique in the WRC, Ogier remained open minded about the threat posed by his rivals.

"It’s still a bit early to judge the performance of everyone, it’s very hard to see who’s making the big difference or to see any dominance from anybody," said Ogier.

"This is a good sign for the championship. I hope at the end of the day we are all there with similar performance, that’s good for the sport, but I also hope we continue in this way," he added.

Ogier has just two weeks until the recce of the next round in Sweden, a rally he won in 2015 and 2016.

"I love Sweden, it’s a rally I have won a couple of times and I look forward to it. In the past, the Fiesta has always been strong in Sweden and there’s nothing I can see which won’t allow me to be confident there," he said.


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