Sebastien Ogier says his and Kris Meeke's perceived advantage over the competition is not as 'safe' as it looks as the defending champion praised his rival's performance on the second day of action for the Rally Monte Carlo.
The defending champion won four of the day's six stages, but a cautious approach on the afternoon's penultimate tour through Corps saw him briefly slip behind Meeke in the overall classification, only to forge ahead again by 9.3secs on SS8 to establish the end of play lead.
Indeed, with Meeke shadowing Ogier proving the class of the field since shakedown, the pair have already established an advantage of more than a minute over Jari-Matti Latvala in third.
Nonetheless, while the Frenchman is impressed by the Citroen driver's efforts, he doesn't feel it is necessarily a two-horse race with eight stages remaining.
“This is an exciting and tense duel with Kris Meeke to start the 'Monte'. He was quick today. I am very happy with my day. Apart from a small mistake on this morning's second stage, Julien and I found a good rhythm. The conditions were typical of the 'Monte'.
“The seventh stage was a little treacherous, so I took a more cautious approach. The advantage that Kris and I have over the rest may look comfortable, but no lead is safe at the 'Monte'. Anything can happen here.”