Wednesday | 30 Sep 2015

Question time: Sébastien Ogier

This afternoon in Corsica, Sébastien Ogier was the first driver to take the WRC hotseat and answer questions suggested by WRC Facebook users.

Congratulations if your question made the short list. If it didn't, don't panic; we'll be back soon with news of the Question Time candidate for RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada.

For now, here's what Seb had to say:

From William Hornsey: A sports psychologist stated that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert. In motorsport this would be very expensive to achieve. How many hours of practice do you believe you have had to become three times champion?
SO: "It is very hard to know how many hours I have practised. I can count in years, and maybe in rallies, but I have no idea if it is 10,000 hours. Motorsport is a sport that needs a lot of practice. And rally is the motorsport that requires the most experience. My first title success, in the Juniors in 2008, was my third year of competition - which is actually not that much. Before starting the Juniors I had done maybe 16 rallies. But back then I was far away from the level I am at now. I was still practising and learning. Seven years later I'm still learning - trying to progress and be even better. Now I'm getting closer and closer to my best performance. I guess everyday we should be able to learn a little bit more. You face so many different situations in rally that there is a lot to learn."

From Ngugi Wa Njeri: I'm sure you're a good driver but could you have conquered the Safari?
SO: "All I know about the Safari is that it was very specific. Maybe closer to Cross Country than the rallies I know now. I'm sure it was a fantastic experience and more of a team adventure - with helicopters opening the road and so on. It was not like racing directly against the clock, instead I guess it was like racing the elements and trying to survive while still being fast. It would have been nice to have experienced it but I think now it would be difficult to have this type of rally."

From Damian Curran: When you aren't winning rallies, you seem to make it very obvious vocally and in your body language that you aren't happy. Do you think you are a bad loser?
SO: "Definitely. Every champion is a bad loser. If you are a good loser then you don't have the right spirit and you are not a winner any more. That said, my behaviour in this situation now is much better than when I was a teenager. Okay, it's not so easy to accept, but I have now learned to do that a little better. When I lose in a fair fight I always respect the performance of somebody better. Inside I'm not happy, because I'm there to win, but I'm able now to recognise that and I'm the first one to congratulate any rival who has done a better job than me."

From Tomek Twarowski: Do you remember your first rally?
SO: "Yes of course. It was on the first of April 2006 - not a joke - on the French gravel championship round, Terre de l'Auxerrois, in a Peugeot 206. I was the happiest man in the world to experience the rally. It was a great result for me too. I finished something like 11th out of 50 cars in the Peugeot cup. It was the first race for Julien [Ingrassia] and me and I was the best rookie. It was a great start."

From Michel Toche: As asphalt is less penalising for you to be first on the road, and you don't have to consider the title any more, do you want to get a fastest time on each stage of this year's 'real' Tour of Corse - Rallye de France?
SO: "I’ve just come out of the recce and seen what conditions are waiting for us. It's going to be a very tough rally - especially with the weather that is forecast. It's not my plan to try and win all the stages. I think this weekend will be a lot about trying to survive in these conditions. The number of stage wins is not something that has a huge amount of meaning to me. I will be happy with less."


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