Driver analysis after 7 rounds
Sebastien Ogier 10/10
Leading the championship by miles, obliterated the competition in a brand new car and team, which he helped to develop. The ‘prince of rallying’ is well on his way to becoming the new King, looks set to take the title this year. But remember this is rallying and anything can happen, it’s not over till it’s over. 2 podiums and 4 wins in 7 rallies. plus powerstage wins. This man looks almost unstoppable as long as he has no more handbrake or pump issue’s.
Jari Matti Latvala 7/10
Seem to struggle with the car at the beginning but then he was put into it at last minute with very little testing and experience of the car. A few mistakes and already said after 2 rallies that he will give up the title fight to help his team-mate win it. which shows the fin has a massive lack of self-confidence. Hoping we shall see Jari back to his old self in the 2nd half, because when the fin his on it, everyone knows about it. Did take full advantage of Ogier’s misfortune and was the perfect ‘2nd driver’ for VW to take that win. Ensuring good points for the team. Always the Perfect team driver.
Thierry Neuville 9/10
This is only his 2nd season in the WRC, but despite his lack of experience he is 3rd in the drivers standings. showed some very impressive performances, finished in the top 5 on 5 of the 7 rallies so far this year, and been on the podium 3 times. two 3rd places in Mexico and Greece, and 2nd place in italy. He stays sensible and keeps it on the road when others can’t. Crashed out in Monte Carlo but certainly proved to be the best of the young drivers this year. I’m sure he has kept Qatar M-sport boss Mr.Wilson very happy. Neuville’s first win can’t be far away now.
Sebastien Loeb 99/10
Loeb may only be doing 4 rallies this year, but lets face it. The Frenchman only needs that to win the championship. (Remember in 2006 when he broke his collar-bone and missed 4 rallies and still won) Citroen still want him back so they can be sure of some more rally wins, although its unlikely with how busy he is this year. He is without doubt the greatest driver of all time. And there’s not much else to say really. He would have got a 100 out of 10 but lost in Sweden to Ogier. But then he always did struggle a bit in Sweden.
Mikko Hirvonen 6/10
Some say, the only reason Hirvo isn’t champion was because Loeb was in the way. Twice the finn lost the title by a tea spoon full of points to the king. So now that loeb is out of the way it will be easy right? He seems to be struggling to get on pace with this years DS3, his retired twice, rolled in Sweden, crashing out of italy due to a silly late braking mistake, and is only 5th in the standings. The 2 podium places in the 7 rallies so far this year aren’t good enough by Citroen standards. The Fin should be fighting for a win, not fighting to keep up with Neuville. The 2nd half of the season will be in his home land, lets hope we get that old firery hirvo we once knew and loved back with his right foot planted for victory. He needs it before Citroen bin their drivers. As a lead driver he needs to deliver.
Dani Sordo 4/10
Dani Sordo returned to Citroen and was another man who was never given the chance to win due to ‘The king’. We expected Sordo to finally be in a position to win his first rally after all these years, but so far has missed the mark by miles. Out of the 7 rallies in the first half of the 2013 season he has managed to finish in the top 5 only 4 times and scored 2 podiums. A 3rd in Monte and 2nd in Greece. With his experience he should be further up there. His place in Citroen is under threat, but the 2nd half of the season features a few tarmac rounds. An the Spaniard is 2nd best to loeb when it comes to sealed surfaces. That long awaited win may not be far away and I certainly wouldn’t bet against him in Spain and Germany.
Mads Ostberg 3/10
Ostberg was one of our drivers of the year last year, won his first rally, was really up there with the best and led several other rallies. As a result Mr. Wilson took him on in the main team and made him lead driver. There was a lot of expectation on Mads this year as we all know what a brilliant driver he is. But the pressure has really pulled him down. He hasn’t shown any of the consistent speed that we know he’s capable of, and the man who rarely put a foot wrong has done nothing but. One of the hardest things for a driver to do is to keep a cool head when the pressure and expectations are very high. something Mads needs to learn how to do, and fast. We all know what he can do, he just needs to deliver like he has done in the past. Only one podium this year so far and that podium was the only time he finished in the top 5.
Martin Prokop 7/10
Martin running in his own team, the Jipocar Czech National World Rally team, is running 8th in the drivers standings and 5th in the manufactures standings. best result of the year so far was 5th place on rally Italy. For prokop, WRC should be all about gaining experience and putting in fastest time here and there. His consistently in the top 10 on most events. He just needs to keep on improving through the 2nd half of the year. Fastest privateer so far.
Evgeny Novikov 5/10
Novikov is currently 9th in the standings. We possibly would expected him to be higher and to have continued his performance over from last year. Only been in top 5 twice so far this year. But tends to take a while for him to ‘bed in’ at the first half of the season. If he can match his results from last years 2nd half os the year, then he will be doing well. And lets hope he doesn’t attempt another WRC back-flip in Finland this time round.
Andreas Mikkelsen 8/10
Making the jump into the pinicle of rallying, the WRC, is always going to be tough. But Mikkelsen seem to be taking it in his stride. Even gained a top 5 finish in Greece when he finished the rally in 4th. His best result so far in his very short WRC career. The norwegian is in the best currently team and car. So despite being a ‘junior’ in the team, expectations will be high. If he can continue to improve on his performance so far, he could go on to be very successful. Experience is everything. Bearing in mind he only started from Portugal onwards where he finished 6th on in his first WRC event for VW.