Ogier: M-Sport needs more speed to defend title
Sebastien Ogier says his M-Sport Ford team needs to find more pace from the Fiesta WRC to have a chance of back-to-back titles.
Ogier could only finish fifth on Rally Finland last weekend, helped by team orders applied to Teemu Suninen and Elfyn Evans, despite M-Sport introducing a new aero package on the champion's car.
He was unable to capitalise on championship leader Thierry Neuville's poor weekend and still trails the Belgian by 21 points, with M-Sport 26 behind Hyundai in the manufacturers' standings.
Ott Tanak dominated the weekend for Toyota and closed to within 23 points of his Ogier, with his team now just one point behind M-Sport.
"It's disappointing not to have any speed the whole weekend," Ogier told Motorsport.com. "It didn't work here, now we have to focus on the next one.
"It's not a little bit of struggle. Last year all three cars – Elfyn, Teemu and me, before I went out of the rally quite early - had the pace to set fastest times, the pace of car was good.
"We came here with the hope to fight not too far from Toyota, but we finished at the bottom of the list and not able to fight for anything."
Ogier said a lack of grip was his primary concern after a switch to Sachs dampers for Finland, but denied this was the cause of his troubles.
"You have to fight a lot to keep the car on the road, so maybe we have to look to the grip," he said. "Look at the Toyota, it looks easier, more stable and more grip in the corner."
"The problem we have is not coming from the damper. It doesn't look like the aero is helping that much; the whole team is slow this weekend, it doesn't matter who is having the evolution.
"There is probably a bit everywhere, even in the chassis it looks like we are not fantastic.
"We know about Toyota here, but Citroen as well was outpacing us this weekend. We expected to be closer, not that far from them."
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