With the six times World Champion Sebastien Ogier back in the Citroen team and now eight rallies into the new season, it was good to ask Citroen’s Sporting Director Pierre Budar for his thoughts.
“What is special with him is to be able to take the best of the car even if the car is not the best," Budar told RallySport Magazine.
"He managed in terms of efficiency to use the car in the best way, even if it's not with the best set-up.
"And I think everywhere where he struggles, sometimes he struggles because he can feel he is not going to get the best result from the car, with this car with the set-up he had at that point.
"On the other hand, when he has to win something, short win, even if the set-up on the car is not a good one, he's able to get this result.
"Even of course when he cannot fight on a long term of a rally he is able to fight on short term, even if it's very difficult.”
A characteristic of the WRC rules is that the championship leaders have to run the first day in front on the road, particularly worrying on gravel stages.
“For sure it's quite tough for him to be first on the road. Especially on some rally as in Sardinia, it's terrible," Budar said.
"The cleaning of the road it's so huge that his feeling he cannot do anything, he cannot get the mood to fight because he knows he will not be able to do anything.
"Even if he's the best, even if he's got the best car, even if he's got the best situation, he cannot because of the cleaning of the road.”
And with the current speed of Toyota driver Ott Tanak, is he still the best driver in the world?
“I think for sure. The fact is that Seb is still the World Champion. Of course he is the best driver.
"But as you can see the fight is very close with Tanak and even (Thierry) Neuville, but to be a world champion you need to be the best driver and also to manage with all the situation, probably it's not the situation where the best driver will do the best result.”
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