I like rallying. I always have. For me, it’s the pinnacle of motorsport where skill and bravery are the order of the day. There are no barriers, there’s no run off, it’s just man and machine. And a desire to win. It’s petrol-fueled excitement at its finest. Until you get to some of the top flight drivers. Well, one. Namely Sebastien Ogier.
This weekend, he won the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. He won by an impressive 10.2s over 2nd on the event, Ott Tanak. Well done Seb, you won a rally. Like you always do. Like you did in Monte Carlo. Or like you did in Sweden. There’s the win in Germany. Or what about Corsica? Oh, and let’s not forget Spain. All events you won. Bravo. Well done.
Sebastien Ogier – Grumpy
Now this might sound like a personal attack on old Seb. That’s because it is. The man is dull, and when he doesn’t get his way, he’s petulant. He’s the WRC’s Lewis Hamilton. I’ve seen it first hand at press conferences when he’s all up there, high and mighty, full of himself. Only to be glum and moody when something has gone awry before the next press gathering. It’s a tiresome spectacle.
The man has skill, bravery and talent, there’s no denying it. The wins prove that. But in a sport that so desperately needs voices and characters, a grumpy Frenchman isn’t ideal. You’re at the top of the game, Seb. You have fans by the thousand, so give them something back. Rather than be a pissy child when Meeke kicks your arse, show a bit of fight instead. If the road position is going to be hard to work with, tell us how you’re going to deal with it. Don’t moan about it. Nobody wants to watch, cheer for or otherwise support a persistent whinger.
Sebastien Ogier – Get with the banter!
Your teammates can do it. Jari Matti Latvala is a delight to talk to, and if he can, he’ll explain what he’s doing. Or he’ll tell you what’s up and how he’s going to fix it. Andreas Mikkelsen is the same. They make for good ambassadors of the sport. You don’t, you misery.
Also, wind the arrogance back a bit. We like a bit of banter, but when I ask you at Parc Ferme if you’re going to win, don’t look at me in shock and state “of course I’m going to win.” You didn’t win that day, did you Seb? You looked silly. That’s why I made sure your comment went into the press release for that day. It’s also why you couldn’t look me in the eyes at the press conference later on, isn’t it?
Say that, then lose, then laugh about it. That’s cool. We’d like you a little bit more for that. But the lack of humility, of your ability to take the piss out of yourself? That’s a big old fail. The other drivers do it, m’laddo. Maybe you should, too?
Sebastien Ogier – Time to move on?
When you were number two to Loeb all those years ago, you were cool. We liked you. We loved your scrappiness against the champ. Furthermore, we loved your fight and the underdog nature of your on-stage battles. It was good, exciting and crucially, engaging stuff. But now you’re at the top, all that has gone. And it’s boring now.
It might be time, Mr Ogier, to follow in the footsteps of Loeb and leave the WRC alone. We want to see Latvala, Mikkelsen, Tanak, Meeke, Paddon and other drivers with a bit of soul battle it out. You’ve become a dull, consistent, unexciting element of the WRC. You’re a champion and a winner, Seb, but what does that matter when nobody really cares?