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.
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.