M-Sport’s Sebastien Ogier feels the pressure will be on Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville in the 2018 season finale of FIA World Rally Championship in the title fight.
Neuville has held onto the WRC points lead for majority of the season with Ogier and Toyota’s Ott Tanak in the chasing pack. The Estonian bridged the gap in the last few rallies but a bad result in Rally Spain meant he has much to do in Australia.
A second place for Ogier helped the Frenchman in the lead by three points over Neuville who was looking good to maintain his top spot with a third place finish but for the Power Stage, where he lost out to M-Sport’s Elfyn Evans and ended up fourth overall.
Neuville is scheduled to start second on the road in Australia from where he won the rally last year with Ogier starting first but despite the disadvantage, the Frenchman reckons pressure will be on the Belgian as he is will behind on points.
“I would rather keep my position [second place finish],” said Ogier. “If you have the points, you have the points, but if you have to score them it is a different story. He [Neuville] will have an advantage at the start, but the pressure is on him.
“The difference between starting first and second in Australia is so close. But you never know, we could still have some rain and tricky conditions. It’s been an eventful weekend [in Spain] but we’re feeling good at the end of it.
“We knew that it would be difficult starting second on the road and the wet conditions made it really challenging as well. But we never gave up and gave it everything we had. You’re always a little frustrated when you miss the victory by such a small margin.
“But we tried everything we could and it’s still been a positive weekend as we regained the lead of the championship. Starting first on the road in Australia will be difficult, but I prefer to have the points in hand.”