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 Post subject: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2010, 19:59  
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SÉBASTIEN OGIER

Exclusive interview by Marko Mäkinen/Vauhdin Maailma
April 2010

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A young man in a good mood arrives on time to the scheduled interview. The first impression of Sébastien Ogier gives a completely opposite picture of him than his predecessors Francois Delecour or Gilles Palanizzi have given of French rally drivers ten years earlier.

Ogier is calm and polite. There's no sign of Delecour's arrogance or Panizzi's pride when it comes to this French driver.

Ogier also knows how to act with the media. He has done his homework well since the first thing he politely wants to make sure of is that there will be no pictures taken during the interview. Of course I wouldn't have minded taking pictures of him but in that case he would have had to go back to his hotel room and change into the team's official clothes.

"I haven't put any money on rally"

Sébastien Ogier is from the town Gap which has become famous because of Monte Carlo rally. The alps are important for him so he wants to live near mountains and skiing slopes in the future too. The 26-year old Citroen Junior Team's driver is a car mechanic by profession and an eager skiier in the alps who worked until 2005 as a skiing instructor.

Ogier drove his first rally when he was 22-years old in 2006. The year before he had won France's motorsporting union's (FFSA) headhunting race which took him to the union's own development program and gave him a chance to drive in France's national rally, Cup-serie, with a Peugeot 206 -car.

The union paid Ogier's first two seasons in the Trophy-serie with Peugeot.

- Neither me or my family had any financial possibilities for me to start rally earlier. My problem was the same as many else's is meaning money or rather the lack of it.

- I have never put any money into rally because I haven't had any money, Ogier laughs.

He got interested in rally through Monte Carlo rally and this classic is still the most significant and important event of them all to him.

- I have always been interested in motorsport but when I was younger I didn't care so much for rally as I did for F1. But Monte Carlo rally has belonged firmly in my life. I used to follow it as a little boy with my father on the stages and in the maintenance area on Gap-Tallard airport where I watched how the cars were serviced. Sometimes I even saw a glimpse of the drivers.

- I have two idols; one of them is Sébastien Loeb and the other one has been my idol all my life, Ayrton Senna. I remember especially Senna's performances in rain. He drove really magnificently and fast.

- But there is a third driver that I especially appreciate based on the results from Monte Carlo rally and he is Tommi Mäkinen. I have always admired Tommi's way of driving in changing circumstances. And he won Monte four times in a row, Ogier tells.

Three seasons and world championship

Ogier's rally career took a boost already during his second season in France's Peugeot 206 Cup-serie, which he won in the end. During the last race Ogier met Sébastien Loeb who opened the doors for him to Citroen Sport.

- I heard that someone had something to tell me behind the maintenance tent. I went there and there Loeb was standing. I was really impressed. He had followed my driving and he wanted to help me because he came to rally from similar starting points as I did.

- Loeb had already spoken on my behalf to Citroen Sport's manager Guy Frequelin. I went to meet Frequelin and we decided to start co-operating. FFSA also wanted to continue supporting me so Citroen and FFSA decided together to start a French rally team to the Junior WRC-serie and they paid together for all the expenses.

Citroen's and FFSA's investment wasn't in vain. In his first WRC-rally in Mexico Ogier won the Super 1600 -serie with Citroen C2 car and his position overall was 8th. In the end of the season Ogier was crowned as his serie's world champion due to three victories.

His rise up to the top has been exceptionally fast, even faster than his teacher Loeb's. Three years of rally and world championship! We are talking about a super-talent and a super promise.

Ogier admits that his close relationship with Loeb has been an advantage to him compared to others.

- I have copied many things from Loeb, like his notes and his note scales. I also studied his driving style from incar-footage. I still work quite intensively with him because we drive for the same manufacturer.

- Sébastien doesn't keep information to himself, he always helps and gives advice if I need help, Ogier tells.

Rally-media has already named you as the new Sebastien. Are you that?

- I'm the new Sébastien Ogier. I don't want that my career is compared to Loeb's fantastic driving career because it's difficult for anyone to achieve what he has achieved. I try to make the best possible career in rally and I will someday be a world champion. But it's no use to compare Loeb and his achievements to me.

This year podium-positions

Sébastien Ogier is now driving his second season in WRC. As a reward for becoming the Junior champion in 2008 he got to try his pace in Citroen's WRC-car already in the last race in Wales 2008. The first paces were frankly speaking sensational: Ogier set the fastest time in the first stage and led the race for three stages but the rally ended in him driving out and he retired.

Last season Ogier was lifted up to Citroen's Junior Team. The beginning was mistakes and learning. But when the season went forward he got a better and better pace. His best result was 2nd in Rally Greece and Ogier even set the fastest time in Finland's WRC-rally on stage Kavala. A tough performance.

- The second half of the season was good. Especially in all new rallies I got into a good pace and close to the top. It only proved that one has to be patient because you can only get top results, victories and championships in rally through experience. Experience is the most important thing in rally.

- My goal this season is to develop more. I'm still not reaching for victories but I intend to try and get to the podium in as many rallies as possible. I also don't have any pressure for success from Citroen. They have told me that this season is my second learning year and I intend to drive and act accordingly.

Next season into the first team?

Citroen's team manager Oliver Quesnel has said that 'Ogier is France's next world champion in rally". Quesnel has also hinted that Ogier might have a possibility to become Loeb's team mate already next season if Daniel Sordo doesn't remarkably improve his performances during this season. For example in Mexico Ogier set the fastest time in six stages while Sordo still has a zero in his column.

Ogier acknowledges his chances.

- I try to drive so that I would have the possibility to go to the first team next season. That matter is yet not a decision I can make.

You have this season left in your contract. Is Citroen the only possibility for you in the future?

- They gave me the chance to drive in WRC with a good car so at the moment, yes. But you never know what the future holds in for you. It's not impossible that I might someday drive for another manufacturer but at the moment my goal is to continue with Citroen.

Ogier is clearly gutted over him being seen as a specialist in tarmac rallies.

- That is not me. In reality I enjoy much more driving on gravel than on tarmac. The series in France are usually on tarmac so we get easily labelled.

I even think that I'm a better driver on gravel than on tarmac. It's of course a bit strange when I am afterall a French driver. I got into WRC in the beginning of my career and they drive mainly on gravel so that might be the reason I manage so well on gravel. I think that during my career I have raced more on gravel than on tarmac, Ogier reminds.

What is your favourite rally?

- It's Monte Carlo rally because it's my home race. I appreciate more the victory in Monte in 2009 with Peugeot than the Junior championship. And even if I retired this year in Monte it still left me with good memories because I could evenly race for the victory against Mikko Hirvonen.

- I also like Finland's, Sweden's and Norway's rallies and this is not just a compliment. It's fun to drive fast on snow and on Finland's gravel roads. I also like all the new races in WRC because I have the best possibilites to succeed in them.

"Kimi is a relaxed guy"

This year Ogier got Kimi Räikkönen as his team mate. Ogier has only good things to say about the Finn. He met Räikkönen for the first time in Arctic Lapland Rally in Rovaniemi.

- Kimi is a relaxed guy. His public image is completely different if you ask me. They say that he is a man of few words but in our team Kimi discusses all the time with everybody. I think that you can see from Kimi that he enjoys his current situation. I also believe that Citroen as a team is the kind of family where Kimi enjoys himself much.

- I have rallied more than Kimi and I have more experience from rally than him so I have been able to give some small advice to him. Of course I know that he is a world champion in F1 so I'm sure I can also learn a lot from him.

Ogier says that Kimi's biggest problem to drive fast doesn't have anything to do with his driving skills, it has to do with his notes.

- The most important thing for Kimi is to make good notes from this season's races because that way driving in the future will be much more easier for him. Notes and making them is the hardest part.

- Like we have already seen, Kimi learns and his pace improves fast. If he gets his notes in order he will get closer to the top and the podiums with the same speed.

Ogies expects good performances from Kimi in the second half of the season especially from rallies on tarmac and from new rallies.

- Tarmas is a more familiar surface for Kimi but there too the most important thing is to get the notes to work. Without good notes you can't make it, no matter what the surface is.

Worst competitor Mikko Hirvonen

This year they race new races in new places and it suits Ogier well. He expects a good result especially from France, Bulgaria and Turkey.

- New rallies are only a good thing for Kimi and me. In these races it's easier for us to race against the others because they have as little experience from them as we have.

New WRC-cars with 1,6-liter turbo engines will be in use next year and it suits Ogier.

- It was a good decision from FIA. Hopefully the new rules bring new manufacturers into the sport. The new cars aren't as powerful as the current cars are but I don't think that it shows in any way.

- I got to test Citroen's new DS3 WRC -car before Mexico and it felt and looked really good. Although the new car still had the 2,0-liter turbo engine. We test the new power transmission with a more powerful engine. If and when the power transmission and the support shafts can take the strain of a 2,0-liter turbo engine we believe that we achieve the same reliablility with our 1,6-liter turbo engine also.

When we start talking about competitors Ogier admits that after Loeb his worst competitor comes from Finland.

- Mikko Hirvonen. Mikko was last year unbelievably fast in Finland's rally. It's hard to keep up with him because he never stresses and he always drives really fast and doesn't make any mistakes.

When are you going to win your first WRC-victory and become a world champion?

- Difficult question. I don't believe that it happens this season but hopefully I will win a WRC-rally next year already. For now I only concentrate on developing myself and I'm not going to take any unnecessary risks.

- Every driver wants to win the world championship. I still have a lot of work to do but if my development continues the same way it might be realistic to drive for the championship in a few years.

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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2010, 20:07  
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I pledge my support to him and petter in Rally New Zealand.

And we all shall surely follow the rally.

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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2010, 20:13  
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luieluv wrote:
I pledge my support to him and petter in Rally New Zealand.

And we all shall surely follow the rally.


Luie, could we make this a game :n :n :n

Can you dig up something about Petter, some old interview or something from Wikipedia and create a thread for him?

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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2010, 20:16  
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Wow, Wolfie! What a great surprise! :hug:

Thank you so much for this article. It was a fantastic read! :cool:

I like Ogier a lot but then again I like all the WRC-drivers! Ogier is very humble, clever and he said nice things about Kimi. :thumbsup:

I think I still can name my favourite: he is Petter Solberg. :) :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2010, 20:42  
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Wolfie wrote:
luieluv wrote:
I pledge my support to him and petter in Rally New Zealand.

And we all shall surely follow the rally.


Luie, could we make this a game :n :n :n

Can you dig up something about Petter, some old interview or something from Wikipedia and create a thread for him?



I shall create a thread for Petter soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2010, 21:34  
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Thanks Luie :C:

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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2010, 22:12  
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Nikki....thanks a lot for translating this article from Ogier. I think he's a great driver and I am glad he and Kimi have such a good relationship!!!!

Thanks!!! :hug:

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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2010, 23:10  
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That was a great article, Nikki! :hug:

Based on the few WRC driver interviews I have read, it really seems that the WRC family seems to be more relaxed and closer to each other compared to F1.

Everyone respects each other and there is no secrecy and suspicion among the drivers.

I am glad that Ogier is Kimi's teammate this year and that Citroen seems to be very supportive of all their drivers.

I still hope Mikko gets the WDC this year, but like some others here, Petter is a close second as my favorite.

Wolfie wrote:
Kimi is a relaxed guy. His public image is completely different if you ask me. They say that he is a man of few words but in our team Kimi discusses all the time with everybody. I think that you can see from Kimi that he enjoys his current situation. I also believe that Citroen as a team is the kind of family where Kimi enjoys himself much.



Did anyone notice that Ogier is another person who has just contradicted Ferrari's statement that Kimi doesn't talk?
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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 25 Apr 2010, 12:24  
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Thanks Nicole!!!!!!! :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2010, 10:10  
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Quote:
BREAKING NEWS: Citroen shares its forces

In order to maximise its chances of retaining its titles in the FIA World Rally Championship, Citroen Racing will make some changes to its nominations in the second half of the 2010 season.

Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia will join the ranks of the Citroen Total World Rally Team in Finland, Japan and Great Britain. Dani Sordo and Marc Marti will play their usual role on the four asphalt rounds.

At the end of the first six rallies of the 2010 season, the results are positive for Citroen Racing: Sebastien Loeb leads the drivers’ championship with 126 points in front of Sebastien Ogier with 88 points. Citroen Racing is also first in the team’s standings, with a total of 189 points. For Citroen Racing, the goals remain the same as they have been since the start of the season: keeping both world titles. In order to help achieve this, adjustments will be made in the nominations for both Citroen Total World Rally Team and the Citroen Junior Team.

Having made an exemplary start to the start to the season, crowned by a win in Portugal, Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have been able to demonstrate both their speed and their intelligence in managing a rally. Their consistent progress has earned them a Citroen World Rally Team nomination for the three pure
gravel rallies at the end of the season: Finland, Japan and Great Britain.

On those three rallies, Dani Sordo and Marc Marti will drive for the Citroen Junior Team, which is currently third in the manufacturers’ rankings with 106 points. The Spanish crew will fulfil its usual obligations with the Citroen Total World Rally Team on the four asphalt rallies in the second half of the
season: Bulgaria, Germany, France and Spain.

Having already racked up 11 podiums on this surface, they now have another opportunity to bring their valuable contribution to the conquest of another manufacturers’ championship.
- Credit: Citroen Racing

http://handbrakeshairpins.wordpress.com ... ts-forces/

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Last edited by luieluv on 08 Jun 2010, 10:13, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2010, 10:11  
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So its a good news for Ogier.

Ogier gets promoted and sordo gets demoted
.. though only for non Tarmac Rallies

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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2010, 05:58  
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luieluv wrote:
So its a good news for Ogier.

Ogier gets promoted and sordo gets demoted
.. though only for non Tarmac Rallies


I'm not sure if it's correct to talk about this in terms of promotion and demotion.
They don't say if it goes beyond which driver is nominated for which team's points in the manufacturer championship

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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2010, 06:16  
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beefree88 wrote:
luieluv wrote:
So its a good news for Ogier.

Ogier gets promoted and sordo gets demoted
.. though only for non Tarmac Rallies


I'm not sure if it's correct to talk about this in terms of promotion and demotion.
They don't say if it goes beyond which driver is nominated for which team's points in the manufacturer championship

sorry i wasnt aware that this had happened last year too. But still a feel good factor for Ogier and his team

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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 22 Jul 2010, 17:23  
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Ogier signs with Citroen for 3 more years:

Linky


Citroen to retain Loeb and Ogier
By David Evans Monday, July 19th 2010, 17:59 GMT

Citroen Racing has confirmed both Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier will drive for the French manufacturer in next year's World Rally Championship - ending Ford's hopes of clinching a 2011 deal with Ogier.

Ogier will replace Dani Sordo as Loeb's team-mate full-time next season, although the Rally of Potugal winner will step up to the Citroen Total World Rally for next week's Rally Finland and for the remainder of the gravel rounds this season. Sordo will remain a Citroen driver next season, but his deal has yet to be concluded. Ogier's agreement binds him to Citroen for the next three years.
[/snip]

Good news for Seb Jr. :thumbsup:

Edit: I see this has already been covered in the Rally News section... :blush:

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 Post subject: Re: Sébastien Ogier
PostPosted: 24 Jul 2010, 07:49  
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http://www.castroldriverrankings.com/ne ... rdo-failed

Quote:
Can Ogier succeed where Sordo failed?


It is little surprise that Citroen has re-signed its prized asset Sebastien Loeb for another World Rally Championship campaign next year.

Nor will any feathers be ruffled by the announcement that the French manufacturer will promote Sebastien Ogier from its junior squad into its senior line-up on a permanent basis next year. He deserves it, after all.

The man destined to lose out thanks to Ogier's meteoric rise to the pinnacle of the sport though, is Loeb's team-mate of the last five years, Dani Sordo.

Confirmed as remaining within the Citroen fold next year, although with a programme to be defined by what budget is available, Sordo's career as a works driver has been one that has, thus far, fallen short of expectations.

The Spaniard arrived with a bang in 2006 as the reigning Junior World Champion and with a deal to drive alongside Loeb in a Kronos squad that was a works team in all but name.

A podium finish on his home event in Spain - on what was only his fourth start in a WRC car - was a clear sign of his promise. Three more from the next five events, including a maiden gravel rostrum in Italy, making things look even better for the rookie.

However, despite 66 starts in WRC machinery, he has still not won a World Championship rally, despite 26 podium finishes. To put it into perspective, Loeb has taken 38 victories in that time.

Ogier has played things slightly differently. Like Sordo, his ascension into Citroen WRC machinery came off the back of a title-winning season in the Junior World Championship.
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