Although he's leading the WRC driver’s standing by a margin of 51 points (ahead of teammate Andreas Mikkelsen), Sebastien Ogier admits that he has found the first half of this season frustrating.

After seven rallies, Ogier has won two races, come in second twice, in third twice, and he finished the latest rally in sixth place. Hardly shabby, but the Frenchman says he wants more.

“A real battle for a rally win would be nice again,” says Ogier. “Particularly since the field is very strong right now.”

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The problem, as Ogier sees it, is actually that he is in first. Under WRC rules, the leader in the standings has to be the first one to drive through the rally stage. On gravel stages, the surface on which the drivers have mostly driven so far this year, that’s a major disadvantage.

Just how much of a disadvantage? Consider the fact that, despite not winning many rallies so far this season, Ogier has won six of the seven power stages (he came in second in Finland). These are revealing, because they’re the only events where the starting order is reversed.

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But there’s good news coming. Only three of  the remaining seven rallies are on gravel, though one is a mixed event. So on asphalt, where starting order is less of a deciding factor, Ogier should be able to show off his true speed.

The Frenchman will have to be careful on his way into the gravel Finnish rally this weekend, though, since his teammate, Andreas Mikkelsen, is looking to give him a better starting position.

[ source ]