Ogier isn’t unsporting, he’s a champion

Published on Wednesday February 21 2018

Ogier courted criticism in Sweden with his tactics. Pic: LAT

Sebastien Ogier seems to have an uncanny knack of dividing opinion.

Most folk seem to fall into one of two camps – those who love him for his battling, win at all costs approach, or those who dislike him because of a perception that there might be a not too subtle lack of sportsmanship emanating from the mercurial Frenchman.

Let me tell you which camp I fall into: I’m 100 per cent behind Ogier.  

So what is it that’s divided opinion once again with regards to M-Sport’s number one driver?

Well, I see it as a clever use of the rules to salvage something from what had been a week to forget. He basically went into the powerstage late to secure a more advantageous road position, thereby allowing him to push on and pick up points that, previous to his little ruse, seemed highly unlikely.

Let’s be clear about this – Ogier broke no rules, he merely used them very much to his advantage.

Throughout history, competitive advantage in all forms of motorsport has been gained by taking an interpretation on rules that are grey.

That is exactly what Ogier did and, to be honest, I believe others would have done the same faced with the unusual set of circumstances that Ogier found himself in.

Ogier broke no rules, he merely exploited them. Pic: LAT

I really do find all this sanctimonious talk of ‘unsportsmanlike behaviour unbecoming of a world champion’ a little bit cheap. There are those out there who just want to have a pop at Ogier, and with predictable regularity, pounce upon every opportunity to do so.

Ogier is a five-time world champion and has achieved greatness doing things his way. There is, without doubt, a ruthless streak in the man. Just ask his former team-mates: I’m sure there are many stories to tell. But that is very much part of what makes him the formidable opponent that he is.

Becoming a world champion with the level of success that Ogier has achieved is no easy task. It takes a special person with a special psychological make up to be able to dominate opponents as Ogier has.

His willingness to take decisions, no matter how unpopular they ultimately make him, is a big part of his win-at-all-costs mentality. And in my books, unsportsmanlike behaviour is where you take advantage of your opponents for your own benefit.

What Ogier did in Sweden was to take advantage of rules that, you could argue, should be more tightly defined.

So please, stop shouting at Ogier. If you really must shout at anyone, maybe try shouting at the rulemakers.

Recent news

Column

Who I have my money on for the BTCC title

By Matt James

Rallying News

Citroen: Meeke was 'not under control'

Citroen World Rally team principal Pierre Budar felt Kris Meeke was out of control and left...

Karting: The secrets to PF International

As part of our special investigation into the world of karting, we got former karting star and...

Racing News

BTCC driver Moffat quits TCR UK

British Touring Car Championship driver Aiden Moffat has exited the TCR UK championship, with...

Rallying News

Citroen: C3 design saved Meeke in crash

Citroen team principal Pierre Budar believes the design of the manufacturer's C3 World Rally...

Rallying News

Triple ERC champion makes WRC2 move

Reigning three-time European Rally champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz will move into the World Rally...

Taking on the European karting scene

The international karting paddock has witnessed its fair share of talented British drivers in...

Column

Silverstone's rallycross adventure

By Matt James

Rallying News

Electric Mitsubishi rally car being developed

Swedish outfit Mpart has started developing an electric Mitsubishi rally car built around R5...

Rallying News

New WRC GB route a missed opportunity - Evans

Last year's Rally GB winner Elfyn Evans feels the revamped route for Wales' 2018 World Rally...

Rallying News

Rally seeding rules relaxed

Two-wheel drive and historic rally cars will be able to run first on the road on rally events...

Rallying News

MN Road Rally legends to attend Speed and Rally Show forum

Legends of the Motoring News Road Rally Championship will attend a forum at this weekend’s...

Rallying News

New push to get privateers back in WRC

World Rally Championship organisers are mounting a new push to get privateers back in the series'...

Rallying News

Toyota rules out team orders to boost Tanak

Toyota team principal Tommi Makinen has ruled out making Ott Tanak a clear number one and imposing...

Exploring karting's family tree

It’s commonly defined by professional racing drivers as the purest form of motorsport. It’s...

Rallying News

Kelly to make surprise Killarney return

Manus Kelly will make a surprise visit to the International Rally of the Lakes in Killarney...

Rallying News

Rally GB to unveil major route revamp

A significantly different route for Rally GB 2018, Britain's World Rally Championship round,...

Rallying News

Rovanpera hospitalised after Argentina crash

Kalle Rovanpera was hospitalised for checks after crashing out of the Rally Argentina WRC2 lead...

Rallying News

Ford sets out conditions for works RX return

Ford wants to see how the future of rallycross develops amid changes in America and plans for...

Racing News

Ingram takes victory in Donington Race 2

Tom Ingram became the first two-time winner in this season's British Touring Car Championship...

Racing News

Cook claims maiden BTCC victory

Josh Cook has broken his victory duck in the British Touring Car Championship, taking his Power...

Racing News

Cook takes first BTCC pole at Donington Park

Josh Cook has taken his maiden British Touring Car Championship pole position after heading...

1 2 3 52

More national news, in-depth race reports and analysis. Subscribe to the Motorsport News paper today.

What’s On

This weekend

No Events

Later

No Events

This weekend

No Events

Later

No Events

X