Ogier wants just one thing: to be vic­to­ri­ous

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - DAVID EVANS

When Mal­colm Wil­son told me he’d con­vinced Se­bastien Ogier to join M-sport at the end of 2016, I wasn’t sure what to ex­pect. I’ll be hon­est, I thought Volk­swa­gen’s su­per­star would stay for a sea­son, be beaten, then beat a hasty re­treat to cir­cuit rac­ing or the life of a stay-at-home dad. How wrong I was. How lit­tle the ma­te­rial things ac­tu­ally mat­tered to the man from Gap.

The last two years have shown Ogier for what he is: a straight­for­ward, flat-out com­peti­tor who wants for just one thing: to win.

The Ogier we see at M-sport these days is more re­laxed and more com­fort­able than I think he’s ever been. Sure, the com­pe­ti­tion’s closer and that brings more stress, but his way of work­ing with the Cum­bri­ans is so strong, so solid. And soon, so yes­ter­day. Talk­ing to Ogier dur­ing his pre-rally GB test in Aber­hir­nant on Sun­day, his frus­tra­tions were abun­dantly clear. There’s no doubt, Citroen will be a gen­uine ad­ven­ture and the chance to go home to a French team as a proud French­man is great; win­ning with a third man­u­fac­turer would be an amaz­ing ef­fort. I get all of that. But still, I take you back to his words af­ter win­ning a fifth world ti­tle in Wales last year.

“What is beau­ti­ful for me is my emo­tion,” he said. “When I fin­ished that last stage… I can’t ex­plain, but in this short pe­riod of time, I have the strong­est emo­tion I ever had in ral­ly­ing. I don’t know why it was like this, why I felt like this. But I am happy I got this emo­tion, I’m happy this sport can still make me feel like this.”

He got that emo­tion be­cause he and M-sport had bat­tled against the odds and won. And if Ford had only put its hand in its pocket, more wins, more ti­tles and more global glory would surely have fol­lowed. And that suc­cess would gen­uinely mean some­thing to the mass mar­ket. Ogier wins in a Ford Fi­esta, a car of the peo­ple.

What a shame the Blue Oval couldn’t trust in Henry’s own phi­los­o­phy of win­ning on Sun­day and sell­ing on Mon­day.

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