Rallye Monte-Carlo

Interview with Sébastien Ogier, on the starting line of Rallye Monte-Carlo

Published on January 22, 2024Updated on February 01, 2024

With just a few hours to go before the official start of the Rallye Monte-Carlo on 25 January, eight-time world rally champion Sébastien Ogier tells us how he feels about the event. The record holder of Monte-Carlo victories is back on the road for this 92nd edition. And the Rallye Monte-Carlo still holds a special place in his heart. Let’s dive in.

Rallye Monte-Carlo

What does Monaco mean to you?

Sébastien Ogier: It’s a pure enchantment. Ever since I was a little boy, it's been a place that's always made me dream, whether for Formula 1 or rallying. I've been lucky enough to associate Monaco with my record of achievements and a whole host of good personal memories, so it evokes a lot of positive things for me.


You'll be returning to the Monte-Carlo Rally in 2024. What places have stood out for you in this event since you started competing?

Sébastien Ogier:  Given my age, I've been able to compete in the past on editions where the rally covered very long distances. As for the places close to Monaco, I'd be happy to mention the Turini, and all those special stages in the south that are a real part of the history of this rally. There are also events that have taken place close to where I was born, near Gap, so it's always nice to drive in those parts. And then there's the Ardèche. I'll always remember Le Moulinon-Antraigues, in 2013, with the Polo, those are great roads for rallying. It would be nice to go back one day.

Rallye Monte-Carlo

How do you feel about this rally and its legendary stages?

Sébastien Ogier: It's a special rally for me because it's close to my roots. When I was young, I used to see all these racing cars speeding close by on the most beautiful special stages in the world. Of course, I've always had great support from the public. It's a pleasure and a source of motivation. Since I was born in the mountains, the environment is familiar to me. I appreciate the winter season. Of course, it's still one of the most difficult rallies, with the parameters changing a lot due to the season: the adrenalin is very high. If I could win only one race, it would be this one.


Monaco is a city with a strong link to cars: is that something you like here?

Sébastien Ogier: I've never lived in Monaco, but it's true that the city is full of places to see beautiful cars. Even so, it's not the best place to use them, but if you want to look at them, it works perfectly!

"If I could win only one race, it would be this one".
Rallye Monte-Carlo

What's your fondest memory of the Monte Carlo Rally?

Sébastien Ogier: I have a lot of good memories, but I think the best is my first victory on the Rally, in 2009, when I took part for the first time. I couldn't believe it!



What’s your favourite place in Monaco?

Sébastien Ogier: I’m tempted to say the Place du Palais! For us drivers, it's synonymous with great things: if everything goes well, that's where we come to collect a fine trophy! I also really like the atmosphere at the start of the race, on the Place du Casino Monte-Carlo, which is already part of the Formula 1 circuit. And this circuit is so legendary for our sports!

Rallye Monte-Carlo
Rallye Monte-Carlo

You were a Grand Prix steward a few years ago...

Sébastien Ogier: Once again, an excellent memory. I was steward for two seasons on the Monaco circuit. Two opportunities to immerse myself in a world I knew little about, that of Formula 1. Coming from a small village in the Alps, those weekends seemed like a dream to me. It's also a formative experience, because being a steward allows you to see the 'other side' of motor sport. Without the stewards and volunteers, our sport could not take place! So you should always remember to thank them.


You've also raced on this circuit, in the Porsche Supercup. Is it a good memory?

Sébastien Ogier: I still have in my mind those images of Ayrton Senna, my idol, racing through the streets of Monaco in a Formula 1 car. In the Porsche Supercup, you drive a little slower, but the sensations are such that it's something that has marked me for life. And I'd love to repeat that kind of experience in the future.

Sébastien Ogier in five key dates

1983: birth in Gap

2005: victory in the FFSA Youth Rally, opening the door to a professional career

2009: first victory in the Monte-Carlo Rally, in a Peugeot 207

2013: first World Rally Championship title in a Volkswagen Polo; first official competition on the Monaco circuit in the Porsche Supercup

2024: thirteenth participation in the Monte-Carlo Rally in the WRC, in a Toyota Yaris

Rallye Monte Carlo
Rallye Monte-Carlo

The Monte-Carlo Rally


Since 1911, the Automobile Club de Monaco has provided the Principality and its surrounding area with a prestigious off-road motoring event: the Rallye Monte-Carlo! In the 1920s, the race was primarily a social event, but over the years it has evolved into a major event in the World Rally Championship, with special stages on some of the most stunning Alpine roads.

Sandro Munari in his famous Lancia Stratos, Walter Röhrl, Didier Auriol, Tommi Mäkinen and, of course, French champions Sébastien Loeb and Sébastien Ogier have all added their names to the list of winners in an event that traditionally begins on the Place du Casino Monte Carlo. The prestige and memory of the Rallye Monte-Carlo have not waned in a century, and this legacy has been galvanised even further over the last twenty years or so since the creation of the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique, which gives the old engines a chance to roar again on the winding roads surrounding the Principality!


Discover the 92nd Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo

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