11 September 2014
WRC Rally Australia: Ogier '100 per cent' focused
Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier vows to put a “not so strong” summer behind him, says he is fully focused on doing well on Rally Australia
Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier says he can be counted on to be back to “100 per cent” this weekend on Rally Australia.
Ogier conceded he has been a bit distracted of late by “other things in the sport”, but insists he is now focused on the job at hand as he looks to successfully retain his WRC Drivers' title and increase his 44 point cushion over team-mate and championship rival, Jari-Matti Latvala.
“Definitely,” he replied, when asked if he is back on track and ready for Australia after his two crashes last time out in Germany. “That's part of life, part of sport. It's nice when you have a lot of success, but unfortunately there will always join to that some difficult moments and that was one in Germany: a really bad one.
“I was not so strong this summer. I let myself be disturbed by other things in the sport and this definitely made me weaker. I was not focused enough on what I have to do, but I've worked on it and I've left it behind me. I am concentrated on what is now and you can count on me to be back 100 per cent here.”
Pressed on if he is feeling the pressure from Latvala, he replied: “I [do] feel the pressure. What can I say? He is stronger, definitely. He's got a good rhythm, but at the same time the mistake [he made] in Germany gave me some room and without this there would be more pressure. Like it is now, I have a good margin and all the cards in my hand.”
“I think everybody was surprised [when Jari-Matti went out on the final day in Germany],” he continued. “For me it was quite a great gift. I didn't expect that when I woke up on Sunday morning. I did not think it was Jari [initially]. I thought it was the picture of me in the vineyards from last year, but then I saw that this was number two and I was number eight last year. I didn't lose anything in the championship at this moment. I can say it is good news for me, but thinking for the team I was disappointed for them.
“Everybody in the team makes a lot of effort to be successful at home and they deserve this victory. But because of my mistake and the mistake of Jari… this is the target for next year now. I hope we don't do it three years in the row.”
Meanwhile, he said he is looking forward to Rally Australia and is not thinking too much about having to be the road sweeper again on day one.
“It's nice to be back here, we have nice memories of this rally from last year,” stated Ogier, who dominated the event twelve months ago, winning 19 of the 22 stages.
“It's a difficult situation starting first on the road, but I am not going to think about that. I will start and see what we can do,” he concluded.
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