Ogier: “When you defy politics, you are seen as arrogant”
Former Citroën’s title challenger Sebastien Ogier enjoyed a very exciting and colorful season last year, with fair amount of both on and off track clashes with his former team mate Sebastien Loeb and Citroën. This year Ogier is focusing on his new role as test and development driver for Volkswagen while at the same time he is competing on all WRC events in Škoda Fabia S2000.
In his recent interview with spanish Marca Ogier expressed his thoughts about the decision to sacrifice 2012 in order to develop Volkswagen’s WRC project. At the same time Sebastien spoke about the tensions between himself and Loeb and Citroën last year.
After driving the Citroën, arguably the best rally car in the world, what are your impressions of the Polo?
At the moment, and since this is the first version of the car, it’s not bad. Of course we have to improve many things, but the base is very good. We did some extensive testing with more sessions scheduled, so we’re working hard. In one session we did over 1000 kilometers in a week.
What do you think of your new team?
For now it’s a young team. Everyone needs more to find the right place in the team and get more organized. Citroën is in this sport much longer, but I feel everyone in Volkswagen is very motivated and we will soon be working like and top team. I am happy to be a part of this project.
Do you miss Citroën?
No, that’s fine. The only thing I miss is not being able to fight for the championship. When you’re a competitor that’s one thing you miss the most. But I have no regrets – it’s only a matter of one year and it’s aimed at other goals.
Ogier’s favourites for 2012 are Sebastien Loeb and Jari-Matti Latvala, but he reckons Mikko Hirvonen can also be a formidable challenger if he keeps scoring points consistently. Asked about the prospects of Dani Sordo coming to Volkswagen, Ogier said he would welcome the Spaniard.
“Dani is a good friend of mine, we have a good relationship and I would not mind him to be my team mate. He is fast and same age as I am, but ultimately decision is on Volkswagen. Dani is very fast, especially on asphalt, but sometimes, maybe due to politics, he was forced to lift off.”
Finally, Ogier also spoke about the French fans and the fact he was not very popular after he started challenging Loeb’s speed and authority in Citroën.
“At first I think fans did not really like me, but gradually I think I am gaining popularity. Loeb won so many races and titles and I think people saw me as a bit arrogant, perhaps because many times I was not being politically correct”, Ogier said.
Full interview awaits you on Marca.com. Thanks for the tweet-tip goes to Sackrebleu.