Ogier’s frustration – I hope it’s real!
After finishing second at the season opener in Monte Carlo, Sebastien Ogier declared himself “slightly frustrated”, which can be explained in several ways. One reason for his frustration undoubtedly comes from the fact he has been winning this event for several years in succession, which itself can be partially attributed to him growing up on these roads. As a former titleholder, Ogier is a fighter, interested in winning above all else, so when a fighter loses a fight, he is right to be frustrated. Next in line is the fact of him driving the 2019 title-winning car. His being a former champion in a title-winning car for many people means an easy victory. Yet, as we all know, victories in rallying are not an easy feat, no matter the titles or cars. Ogier’s curse (and everyone else’s blessing) are his rivals – at least two of which are fully capable of stealing his laurels on any kind of surface. It happened last year and it happened again in Monte this year.
For me, Ogier’s frustration is a good thing. I see it as a good omen for the rest of the season. Every time a driver is heading for his retirement I cannot help feeling a bit sad, questioning his motivation and hunger. In Ogier’s case, I am not sure if such fears are realistic – these guys are fully capable of being utterly beaten and tired in interviews, only to turn into their old selves once you strap them in a rally car and tell them to drive really really fast.
Ogier will definitely want to go out with a bang if he indeed is going to retire come end of 2020. This is something I secretly hope won’t happen, but the pressure of years, quieter, more settled life, young guys being so damn fast, and of course, all those titles already won… it all just adds up. But even all that fades away at the prospects of another win. Also, let’s be serious for a moment – these guys probably have the best job in the world, I don’t suppose driving those cars at those speeds can be anything but sheer fun.
Ultimately, here’s me hoping Ogier’s frustration means more than just a simple PR thing. I bet he still has a trick or two up his sleeve – damn it, he is not that old! Even though they say it’s best to stop while at the top. Easier said than done!
This could be another very exciting and memorable year so I would really like to see him push his rivals (and himself) all the way to the end. (and then reveal he was only kidding about his retirement plans)