Reigning four-time FIA World Rally champion Sébastien Ogier always dreamed of competing in Formula 1 after growing up idolising the exploits of Ayrton Senna. His career has taken a different, albeit very successful, path through the rally ranks from junior world champion to senior title in 2013 and three successful defences.
The 2017 season has seen him engage in a fierce fight with Belgian Thierry Neuville, the Hyundai driver’s poor start allowing Ogier to build an 11-point lead with co-driver Julien Ingrassia heading into 67th Rally Finland from July 27-30. With the summer break allowing the WRC circuit a much needed pause, following a hectic first half of the year, Ogier travelled to the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg to live out his F1 dream on the sun-baked Austrian GP track.
The Frenchman revealed, “As a kid I was watching (Ayrton) Senna, he was my idol, and of course I was dreaming one day to try this kind of car. “For a racing driver to have fun you need to be fast and a Formula One car is the fastest car you can drive, so of course every racing driver wants to feel that one day.”
Despite 40 WRC rally victories and a colossal 493 stage wins, driving a Formula 1 car is an altogether different experience especially piloting Red Bull Racing’s 2011 RB7 model that produced 12 wins, a constructors’ title and driver championship for Sebastian Vettel.
Former Red Bull F1 driver David Coulthard added, “When you are used to rally, you have a lot more cockpit space but with a Grand Prix car it is a much more compact and hostile environment.” Find out if M-Sport driver Ogier could master a car where top speeds hit 325km/h and the forces bearing down on a driver exceed 4.5 G.