Ogier expects "more uncertainty than ever" in WRC's new hybrid era

Sebastien Ogier believes there will be “more uncertainty than ever” at next year’s World Rally Championship Monte Carlo opener as team’s grapple with the reliability of all-new hybrid machinery.

Listen to this article

The eight-time world champion tested Toyota's new GR Yaris of the first time last weekend as he stepped up his preparations for the Monte Carlo Rally, the only confirmed WRC event of his partial 2022 campaign so far.

Ogier took part in a rescheduled two-day test on French tarmac after his original outing was postponed last month when Elfyn Evans suffered a crash, damaging the test car.

While Ogier enjoyed his maiden outing in a Rally1 hybrid WRC car, the 37-year-old expects reliability to be a factor at the beginning of the season as teams adjust to the WRC's new Rally1 regulations.

"I think in the early weeks of the season reliability can play a bigger role because these cars are very new and we see that every test big progress is being made," said Ogier, an eight-time winner of the Monte Carlo Rally.

"It is possible compared to the last season that it could play a bigger role, but I'm confident that the team are going to work hard and succeed in making this car evolve in performance and in reliability.

"We have to be honest going to Monte Carlo there is a huge question marks for everybody and more uncertainty than ever I believe."

Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Comparing the GR Yaris to its predecessor, that guided the Frenchman to two world titles in 2020 and this season, Ogier admits the car is a "step back" in terms of performance" but is confident that pace will improve as teams develop their Rally1 machines.

Under the 2022 regulations, Rally1 cars will produce 500 horsepower when the hybrid boost from the 100kW electric motor is engaged and combined with the 1.6 litre turbo-charged internal combustion engine.

"I think you have to be honest it is a step back in terms of performance, the cars are slower and heavier and the technical regulation making quite a bit more limitations in many ways," he added.

"But for me the most important as long as everyone is racing the same material it will make for an exciting competition.

"I'm also confident the car will quickly progress and I think we have seen in the last generation of WRC cars, they are not as fast as they are now at the end of 2021, compared to 2017 when they came out. I really believe it will be the same process with these cars.

Read Also:

"When the boost is there, for sure it is fun. We all like to have power and it has been enjoyable discovering that. The truth is it is not there all the time and generally we have to be honest we are slower than we have been the last year.

"I think there is still some progress to be done and it is going to be exciting to follow how it improves, but at the end the interesting challenge is to adapt as soon as you can and progress faster than the others."

Ogier is expected to drive the 2022 Yaris again this month before another outing in next month prior to the Monte Carlo Rally held across 20-23 January.

shares
comments
Ogier tests 2022 Toyota WRC Rally1 Yaris for first time
Previous article

Ogier tests 2022 Toyota WRC Rally1 Yaris for first time

Next article

FIA announces new WRC 2022 cost-saving measures

FIA announces new WRC 2022 cost-saving measures
Why Monte Carlo success could spark another past master’s WRC revival Prime

Why Monte Carlo success could spark another past master’s WRC revival

Some 39 years on from his Monte Carlo Rally debut, World Rally Championship legend Francois Delecour continues to pick up silverware. Proving that age is purely a number, the 60-year-old's desire to compete against the WRC’s latest young talents could be the start of a new chapter in the Frenchman’s storied career

WRC
Jan 31, 2023
How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master Prime

How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master

He may only be contesting a part-time campaign in the World Rally Championship these days, but Sebastien Ogier underlined that he's lost none of his speed in the 2023 season opener. Storming to yet another victory on the Monte Carlo Rally, the eight-time world champion rewrote the history books again as Toyota served notice of its intentions with a crushing 1-2

WRC
Jan 23, 2023
How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling Prime

How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling

Audi should have been invincible in the snowy conditions that typically greeted the World Rally Championship paddock in Monte Carlo. But unexpectedly warm weather for the 1983 season opener, combined with some left-field thinking from the Lancia crew turned the tables. Forty years on, team boss Cesare Fiorio reflects on a smash and grab.

WRC
Jan 21, 2023
Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion Prime

Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion

M-Sport had a disastrous 2022 with its Rally1 Ford Pumas following Sebastien Loeb’s first-time-out win on the Monte. But now things are looking up with 2019 world champion Ott Tanak leading its attack, and the Cumbrian operation has optimism that it can challenge for a first title since Sebastien Ogier's departure at the end of 2018

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown Prime

The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown

As Kalle Rovanpera begins his World Rally Championship title defence in Monte Carlo, the Finn knows he has a target on his back. But who is best placed to knock the Toyota ace off his perch?

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title Prime

Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title

Question: what could be harder than becoming the youngest-ever World Rally champion? Answer: becoming the youngest-ever two-time World Rally champion. That's quite the challenge facing Toyota's Kalle Rovanpera in 2022, particularly against rejuvenated opposition in the second year of the WRC's hybrid regulations.

WRC
Jan 18, 2023
From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing Prime

From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing

OPINION: New Hyundai rally team boss Cyril Abiteboul admits he’s got a lot to learn, but his F1 experience and evident strengths could mean he turns out to be an inspired choice.

WRC
Jan 17, 2023
The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed Prime

The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed

Toyota was unstoppable in the 2021 World Rally Championship, with an excellent 75% strike rate from 12 rallies. But in a scary proposition for its rivals, the Japanese marque had built a car for the final year of the previous regulations set which it believes was much faster and could feasibly have crushed the opposition completely. Here the story of its mothballed world-beater.

WRC
Jan 1, 2023