There is absolutely no chance Sebastien Ogier will be able to avoid questions and inquiries about Sebastien Loeb, as the latter Frenchman arrives to Argentina for another of his retirement rallies this year. In fact, Ogier already answered to some of these questions, and it’s safe to say, he is going to hear approximately another million of them over the course of the weekend.
These questions were funny last year, or in Monaco and Sweden this year, but now, with Ogier commanding a massive lead in the Championship, and Loeb allegedly running only one more rally after Argentina, there is little substance in them. Unless you really must ask, even though you know the answer – it’s the same as it was in Monaco and Sweden. “Why should I care, I’m doing a championship, Loeb is not”, is what Ogier shoots back, usually in a slightly more polite manner. You see, he learned not to get annoyed with these questions – I bet he wasn’t exactly annoyed with questions and reporters, but rather wanted to start off his campaign on his own terms. Now, with huge lead in the championship, and with great confidence behind the wheel, Ogier is much more relaxed and only needs to recite the above reply with a smirk on his face.
Ogier is running for the title this year, Loeb is, well, doing what he can to help Citroën, or rather, he’s just doing it for the fun, and he’ll donate his points to the most handsome driver at the end of the season. “I am retired, and the points don’t matter”, to paraphrase the famous Whose Line is it Anyway tagline.
For me, it would be much more interesting to hear from Dani Sordo or Jari-Matti Latvala. They are the ones to be asked about Loeb – can they catch him before the end of the season. With strong performance in both Argentina and France, Loeb might end up leading the two full-time factory drivers.
As for Ogier vs. Loeb, yes we can have some fun and enjoy their fight, which will, no doubting, be furious, regardless of what they say, but with Loeb being in-and-out this year, we are a bit too late to the party I am afraid. Which is a huge shame!
Regardless – who here thinks Rally Argentina will deliver superbly exciting rallying! Yeah, me too!