Ogier: "Only danger" is myself in WRC title fight on Rally Monza

Sebastien Ogier believes “the only danger is himself” as a head-to-head battle with Elfyn Evans for this season's World Rally Championship title edges closer to its climax at Rally Monza.

The Toyota duo have been locked in a thrilling scrap across Friday’s seven stages from which Evans has emerged with a 1.4s lead over the seven-time world champion.

Ogier won three of the four stages held on mountain roads in Italy’s Bergamo region, while Evans struck back in the afternoon stages held at the Monza grand prix circuit to turn around a 6.5s deficit.

The Frenchman realistically only needs to finish sixth to secure the title given his 17-point lead over Evans. However, one slip up could throw the championship battle firmly in Evans’ favour as he bids to become the first Briton to win the championship since the late Richard Burns’ success in 2001.

Ogier, competing in his final event as a full-time WRC driver, has played down the pressure being placed on him by Evans and believes that the title is very much his to lose.

“The only danger is myself really, I just need to focus on my drive," said Ogier. “It has been a good day. I really enjoyed the stages in the mountains and this afternoon I was a little bit more on the safe side and we had a [brake] issue on stage five which cost me five seconds, so it is quite ok.

“I’m happy with where I am right now it [the battle with Evans] is not a fight I need to take on anyway, I just need to try and do the same tomorrow."

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Evans says he is doing all he can to secure the title after wrestling the lead away from his rival on Friday afternoon.

The Welshman has driven well under pressure, knowing that he has to finish inside the top three regardless of where Ogier finishes to keep his title hopes alive.

Evans admitted before the weekend that his championship aspirations were a long shot but was pleased with the fight shown on Friday.

“I think it has been pretty okay,” said Evans.“You enjoy it when things are going well of course but I’m not sure who really enjoys these stages round here to be honest. It has been a good afternoon, not perfect.

“It [the circuit stages] wasn’t my strong point last year so I have put a lot of energy into trying to make sure we are able to match the others around here.

“It has been ok today but we have to contend with a lot more before the weekend is out. [We need] more of the same from us, there is not a lot more we can do.”

Rally Monza returns to the Bergamo mountain roads on Saturday morning before again heading to the Monza race circuit for two stages.

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

WRC Monza: Evans grabs lead to increase pressure on Ogier
Previous article

WRC Monza: Evans grabs lead to increase pressure on Ogier

Next article

Solberg surprised to be fighting for top five in Rally Monza

Solberg surprised to be fighting for top five in Rally Monza
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Prime

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Prime

How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Prime

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Prime

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Prime

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Motorsport.com went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021