2013 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
coming back with a smile.
“But it was worth it.”
It certainly was.
Having seen first hand the result of not
(excuse the pun) rallying a team around
you, Ogier was determined to stamp his
authority on VW from the day he arrived.
“I told him when he came here,”
team principal Jost Capito says. “I said,
‘Seb, you can make this your team.’
And he’s done just that.”
When Jari-Matti Latvala joined a year
later, the Finn didn’t know what had hit
him. Hanover and Gap had been twinned.
who would run No. 8. Latvala won the
toss, Ogier was not happy and later said
with a thin smile, “He can have number
seven, I’m only interested in number one.”
The second thing which happened was
an agreement between Capito and Ogier
that, if the manufacturers’ title was up for
grabs in France, VW would come first and
Ogier’s desire to beat Loeb on Loeb’s
last-ever WRC event (see previous page)
second. As it happened, the team did
need points in Alsace, but when it was put
to Ogier that he might not be allowed to
race Loeb at home, he wasn’t happy.
“It wouldn’t have been fair for Jost to
ask me to slow down,” he said at the time.
In all honesty, nothing would have
slowed down Ogier through the riesling
and gewurztraminer vineyards which wind
their way around Loeb’s Alsace backyard.
Ogier wasn’t going to miss the chance
to lay down a lasting marker and he
didn’t. Loeb crashed. Ogier won.
Does he wish they had raced a season
against each other?
“It would have been nice,” he says with
refreshing honesty. “But maybe this is the
best way, for us never to know…”
Never to know who the best is.
It says something about Ogier that he’s
happy to stack himself against a man who
has won 78 world rallies. Oddly enough,
this flat-out self belief doesn’t come
across as arrogance. He’s just completely
aware of what he can do.
Rewinding back to 2011, when Loeb
remained at the height of his pomp, other
drivers would talk of their chances of a
win depending on any potential Loeb
misfortune. But could Ogier beat Loeb on
any rally, on any day?
“Yes. Why not?”
Always the same answer. Every day.
The pair are cut from quite different
cloth, but the results are extraordinarily
similar. If anything, with an even shallower
pool of competition fighting against him,
Ogier has the chance to out-Seb Seb and
take10 World Rally Championship titles.
France couldn’t have hoped for a
stronger Seb successor than Seb.
“Nobody loses sight of VW’s
common good. But Ogier
would have to be reminded
of it a little more...”
That doesn’t mean there’s favorable
treatment for Ogier, far from it. The cars
are absolutely equal and the team share
everything – mechanics rotate among the
cars to avoid sub-teams forming. Nobody
loses sight of Volkswagen’s common good.
But it’s fair to say Ogier would have to be
reminded of it a little more...
Before the season started, two things
happened. A coin was tossed to see who
would run with No. 7 on the doors and
Like the other Seb,
Ogier is as much at
home on the rough
roads of, say, Mexico
(ABOVE) as on
smooth, fast asphalt.
In fact, Ogier’s first
WRC win came on
gravel in 2010 (LEFT).