Citroen will consider pulling Ogier out of Rally Italy

Citroen will consider pulling Sebastien Ogier out of Saturday’s Rally Italy stages if the French firm feels there’s nothing to gain from the C3 WRC running first on the road.

Citroen will consider pulling Ogier out of Rally Italy

Ogier retired from Rally Italy after breaking a steering arm on the final stage of Friday’s morning loop.

Returning under Rally 2 regulations would leave Ogier running first on the road for a second day in succession, but with very little potential for scoring points from the Alghero-based event.

The world champion is already looking towards the next round of the series in Finland.

“There’s no strategy that can help me right now,” he said. “Let’s see what goes on for the rest of the weekend, but there’s not so much to expect from Sardinia. I’m already thinking to the next rally.”

Even powerstage points are optimistic given that he will be first on the road on an exceptionally loose and sandy test.

Asked if he would consider a tactical approach to day two, team principal Pierre Budar told Motorsport.com: “Why not? If there is nothing to win, nothing to learn and a difficult day opening the road, nothing to help the team, we could consider but we are not at that point yet.

“We will see tomorrow. We will decide. Of course, it’s quite frustrating for him to start and be first on the road, I think he’s fed up with this. It’s not easy to know what to do tomorrow. If we have some parts to test, it could be an idea.”

Ogier was quick to accept blame for the mistake, explaining that he had driven this section of stage three times already – it formed part of Thursday’s shakedown test.

“I knew exactly there were rocks there,” he said. “I don’t know. It looks like I turn[ed] a little too early, it was a bit blind over a bit of a crest, but I knew it was there.”

Ogier admitted he was surprised to find there was no spare steering arm in the car.

He told Motorsport.com: “I would still need 10 minutes to change [it], so it would have compromised the results.

“I thought we had one, maybe it’s something we need to discuss with the team. I’m not sure it would have saved much of the weekend, maybe – but we didn’t have.

"Ninety-nine per cent of the time you carry it and don’t need it and the day you need it you don’t have it. That’s how it is. The biggest mistake is not to think to carry this, the biggest mistake is to touch this rock.”

Budar said not taking the spare part was a tactical decision.

He added: “It was a decision made to optimise the weight of the car. We prefer to play the performance, but maybe this has to be reconsidered. But, anyway, it wouldn’t really change anything except for a few minutes.”

shares
comments
Italy WRC: Latvala, Tanak make it Toyota 1-2, Ogier retires

Previous article

Italy WRC: Latvala, Tanak make it Toyota 1-2, Ogier retires

Next article

Italy WRC: Sordo quickest on Friday afternoon, Latvala crashes

Italy WRC: Sordo quickest on Friday afternoon, Latvala crashes
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Event Rally Italy
Drivers Sébastien Ogier
Teams Citroën World Rally Team
Author David Evans
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021