Sébastien Ogier already has a hand on the trophy for the 2021 rally world champion. Ahead of the Rally Finland next weekend, the tenth of twelve races of the season, the French Toyota works driver is leading the overall standings with ease. His lead over the table runner-up, team-mate Elfyn Evans from Wales, is already 44 points.
Statistically, the odds are good for Ogier. The 37-year-old from the French Alps is one of only twelve foreigners who were able to snatch victory from under their noses in the past 69 editions of the Finland Rally. Hyundai works driver Ott Tänak recently achieved this feat twice in a row.
The Estonian has long been beaten in the World Championship fight, however, and is already 74 points behind Ogier. Elfyn Evans and Hyundai works driver Thierry Neuville, Ogier’s second pursuer, on the other hand, are not among the illustrious circle of Finland winners. Evans even has a small disadvantage in terms of Finland experience, because he did not start the last time due to an injury to his co-driver.
A new component for everyone is the postponement of the rally into autumn. “So far we have been driving in the summer. Now it’s cooler and wetter, which means the gravel roads are softer, ”says championship leader Ogier from the test drives before the start.