Why Toyota drivers complain about their cars: Sebastien Ogier offers one perspective

Toyota's Sebastien Ogier had a strong performance on Friday at the Rally de Portugal.
Sebastien Ogier
Sebastien Ogier. Photo by: Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT
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After Friday, Ogier is second in the rally, just one second behind his teammate Kalle Rovanperä.

Ogier finished Friday on a high note, setting the fastest time on the day’s final special stage, 3.2 seconds ahead of Rovanperä.

“It was a good day, but the feeling was not great in the morning,” Ogier told Rallit.fi.

“I was fighting quite a lot with the car. The afternoon got a little bit better, but still, I struggled to really be 100% driving the car on top of that with two issues which cost us the lead tonight,” Ogier recounted.

The Frenchman had issues with his helmet microphone and additionally, his hybrid unit did not work on one of the stages.

“This five seconds cost us the lead tonight. But you know, that’s rally. And I think we’re still happy to be where we are, still in a position to fight for the win. And that’s the most important.”

All Toyota drivers complained about their cars throughout the day. Kalle Rovanperä and Takamoto Katsuta were also not satisfied with the setups of their cars. However, Ogier emphasized that no one complains without reason.

“I don’t know, I think it means that there’s still room for improvement, but that’s the way it is. We complain. But we always try to complain, at least in a productive way, and keep working with the team to make it even better. But I think, you know, we don’t just say that because we like to complain.” Ogier reminded.

“Yeah, we just felt not really good in the car today. And we had to fight much more than we wanted to. I didn’t really talk with my team colleagues. I don’t know what happened to them, but I understood that Kalle probably was also not so happy. And Taka also. So it means there’s still room for improvement.”

The battle has been fierce so far. At best, all six top drivers were within about six seconds of each other. The battle is expected to continue just as intensely tomorrow.

“The gaps are very, very small. So I think you cannot only think about Kalle and me. I think it’s still possible that some other guys are in the mix for the fight for the win, that’s for sure. But I expect tomorrow the road position will play a bit of a bigger role,” Ogier anticipated.

Eight special stages will be run tomorrow, Saturday, in the Rally de Portugal. The rally concludes on Sunday.

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