Tue 04 Jan 2022

Ogier eyes ninth Monte triumph

Eight-time world champion Sébastien Ogier says his approach to Rallye Monte-Carlo (20 - 23 January) won’t alter just because he’s running a part-programme in this year’s FIA World Rally Championship.

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Frenchman has won his ‘home’ round of the series a record-breaking eight times and starts the 2022 season opener with number nine on his mind.

Despite stepping back from a full campaign to contest selected events only this year, Ogier’s fierce competitive instincts will be as keen as ever.

“Like always, it’s exciting to be going to Monte-Carlo,” Ogier said. “I’m a competitor and I want to win – I always work to try to give my best on every event and I will do that in Monte-Carlo.

“I’m not competing in the whole championship, so maybe that makes me think a little bit different, but still I’m looking forward [to Monte].”

Ogier tested the all-new Yaris Rally1 he will drive for the first time last month. He was immediately impressed with the hybrid power on offer from the Finnish-built car.

“We all like the power,” he said. “The car was good. We know there is a lot of changes with this new car compared with the previous generation. I am confident the team is going to succeed in making this car evolve both in performance and reliability.

“In the early weeks reliability can play a role. These cars are very new – big progress is being made with every test. Compared to the last season it’s possible it will play a bigger role.”

Ogier faces a mouth-watering battle against arch-rival and fellow Monte master Sébastien Loeb as 11 Rally1 cars usher in the WRC’s exciting new sustainable future.

Loeb, just one win behind his fellow countryman in the Monte’s hall of fame with seven victories, will pilot M-Sport Ford’s Puma Rally1 at the Monaco-based encounter.

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