After six years of domination, Sebastien Ogier’s reign at the top of the World Rally Championship ended last weekend when he lost his crown to Estonian Ott Tanak at the recently concluded Rally de Catalunya in Salou, Spain.
The Frenchman is the second-most successful driver of all-time in the sport behind only his compatriot and former teammate at Citroen Racing, Sebastien Loeb.
Ogier returned to Citroen Racing this year, the team he started out his career with at the French company's junior team in the championship, before winning titles with Volkswagen and a privateer team M-Sport Ford, and has already announced that he will retire at the end of 2020.
Speaking to reporters after the Rally in Spain, Ogier spoke about his career, not wanting to chase records and what it takes to be consistently successful.
When asked if the hunger has diminished after winning six titles, the Frenchman said, “I think for sure you can say that when you are chasing the first one you are maybe, more hungry for it than afterwards. But still when you have this spirit of being a competitor, fighter, when you don't like to lose, you always try to stay in this position anyway. When you are ageing in rally normally you have a good chance to get better. A little bit like wine.”
On his decision not to chase Loeb’s record of nine titles considering at 35 he has a lot of time left, Ogier explained, “This record is not important. Because in my eyes I had already more than what I have dreamed about some years ago. I am very proud already of what I have achieved. Of course, you always want more. There are so many things I still want to do in my life, and yeah, of course, I will always do my best to finish on a high next year, but this one I have never been a target for me.”
Explaining the secret behind maintaining a consistent run of triumphs at the highest level the Frenchman explained, “it's important to always ask yourself how you can be even better. And always try to question yourself. And that's always been my way of working. I always try to analyse what I am doing wrong. And even when we win, we always try to work and see what we can do better for the next race, and I think that's the way to stay on the top and to stay competitive in a world championship.”
( The writer was in Spain at the invitation of Citroen India )
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