Ogier: Pirelli asphalt WRC tyres will be leveller in Croatia

Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier believes Pirelli’s new dry asphalt rubber will prove a leveller at Rally Croatia.

Listen to this article

The long-range forecast for this weekend’s tarmac battle gives for largely dry and sunny conditions.

During his pre-event test, Ogier got to sample the Italian company’s hard compound P-Zero offering.

It will make its first appearance at the event which starts on Friday – alongside the Cinturato rain tyre.

“We have new tyres this season and we have not had the chance so far to drive the slick tyres on dry tarmac,” said Ogier, who will start the rally third on the road.

“The test was important as the experience helped me to learn. I’m pretty happy with the car – I enjoy it – so now it is all about collecting the data and making the best choices in Croatia.

“It is hard to say who is the favourite to win in Croatia. If I am part of them that’s good – but I’ve just mentioned the tyres; they are really playing a big role at the moment because it is all about who can adapt to them as fast as possible, so it is difficult to estimate who is going to be the best in this rally.

“I would say that does make things interesting I’m looking forward to that challenge but it’s hard to say who’s going to be the fast drivers. Let’s see.”

Having the most experience – and success – on asphalt of any other current WRC driver, many see the Frenchman as the man to beat on the newest addition to the series.

However, the reigning WRC champion insists leaving round three as the leader is not the priority given that Rally de Portugal follows immediately after Croatia.

“Of course, I would like to win this rally but we are at the beginning of the season and there is still a very long way to go,” he told Motorsport.com.

“Every point is important for the championship but I’m also aware of the many gravel events coming after Croatia where it’s going to be challenging sat at the front.

“I’ll do my best to be consistent as that’s key to winning, but I’m pretty relaxed going to Croatia.

“Arctic Rally Finland was, of course, disappointing. Only one point but that’s the way it is. Going there as the leader of the championship was unfortunately a very big challenge on top of the mistake from my side [crashing on the final corner of Saturday’s last stage and dropping 20 minutes].

“It cost me some points but not that many. At the end I’m just looking forward and focusing on Croatia.”

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

"No certainty" WRC Rally Finland will be open to fans
Previous article

"No certainty" WRC Rally Finland will be open to fans

Next article

Hyundai needs “vital” consistency in WRC title fight

Hyundai needs “vital” consistency in WRC title fight
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Prime

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Prime

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022
Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life Prime

Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life

Toyota locked out the top four places in the World Rally Championship's recent Safari Rally Kenya in a clear indication of its GR Yaris Rally1 hybrid's pace and durability. Motorsport.com was recently given a tour of the new factory where its cars are designed, tested and built, and it reveals much about the commitment of the Japanese marque to continued WRC success.

WRC
Aug 19, 2022
How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession Prime

How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession

Finland may have a small population, but it has long enjoyed rallying success. Now that the nation has a new star to cheer in the form of Kalle Rovanpera, interest in the discipline is surging once again.

WRC
Aug 10, 2022
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera's Finnish homecoming Prime

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera's Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Prime

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Motorsport.com for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit.

WRC
Jul 27, 2022
How Rovanpera's latest masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped Prime

How Rovanpera's latest masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped

After trailing Toyota teammate Elfyn Evans for much of Rally Estonia's opening day, WRC points leader Kalle Rovanpera took advantage of a change in the weather and never looked back afterwards. Winning for a fifth time this year at the scene of his 2021 breakthrough, and with a breathtaking powerstage bonus for good measure, his advantage is already looking difficult to topple.

WRC
Jul 18, 2022
How the WRC captures its stunning visuals Prime

How the WRC captures its stunning visuals

Whether it’s the mountains of Monte Carlo, the snow of Sweden or the Kenya Savannah, the World Rally Championship is able to beam some of motorsport’s most spectacular footage to television screens while operating in the harshest of environments. Motorsport.com went behind the scenes to unearth the secrets that make this logistical challenge possible

WRC
Jul 7, 2022