Sébastien Ogier was not a favorite for win at Rally Monte Carlo after only a short time behind the wheel of the new Ford Fiesta WRC. Still he managed to get a fourth consecutive triumph in the legendary race – in his first event with M-Sport.
Becoming stuck in a ditch on the first stage of last Friday morning (SS3), the Frenchmen lost more than 40 seconds to the leading pack and a win looked like a distant dream. But this is Monte, and Ogier knows better than most that it is a clever and controlled drive that delivers results.
Sébastien Ogier said:
“Obviously I feel really great. It always feels good to win at Monte-Carlo, but this year we had one of the most difficult challenges we have ever had. We had to contend with some really demanding conditions and also had a new car and a new team – it’s really incredible.”
“We joined the team only a month ago and have only had a couple of days in the car so far. Of course we know that anything can happen at this event, but I really thought that we would be lacking the necessary preparation to challenge for victory.”
“To be on the top-step of the podium, I’m very happy and so happy for the whole team who really deserve this. We could never have won if they had not given us a good car, so congratulations to them. We still have some work to do, but we started in the best possible way. I’m looking forward to the next events and there is nothing that does not allow me to be confident.”
Ott Tänak secured his best ever result at Rally Monte Carlo and took the final podium step. But the result was hard-fought. Tänak was on course for second place, but that all fell under jeopardy on the morning of the last day. His Fiesta developed an issue with the engine electronics.
Causing a misfire on one cylinder, Tänak was down on power and had no choice but to resign his second place.
Ott Tänak said:
“It’s great to be here! For a moment we didn’t know if we would make it. But the Ecoboost engine is clearly a very strong. At least we added a little spice to the final day. Of course it’s a shame to have had the issue, but this is Monte Carlo. We know it’s a tricky event and we have to be pleased with our performance.”
“I was quite surprised to see how competitive we were. Normally I don’t enjoy challenging conditions but I felt quite comfortable in the car. We were quietly confident during testing. But you never know until you get into competition. So all credit to the guys at M-Sport.”
“We’ve got a great base car in the Fiesta WRC and also quite a bit that we can still improve. We had consistent speed this weekend. I think we are only going to get better as we continue to learn throughout the season.”
“I must also say thanks and congratulations to my co-driver, Martin Järveoja. This was one of the trickiest Rally Monte Carlo’s that we have ever seen and he did a really great job. He did his job so that I could concentrate on mine. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in the coming events.”