Bravo! Sébastien Ogier rules the Rally Circuit at Monte Carlo
The French driver, who is the most recent member to join Richard Mille’s diverse line-up of partners, swept the first leg of the WRC (World Rally Championship) this season, thereby claiming his fourth victory (3rd consecutive) at Monte Carlo.
Ogier, who hails from the French Alps (Gap, France), and his co-pilot, Julien Ingrassia, indefatigably led the pack in their VW Polo R for the duration of the race, crossing the finish line just under 2 minutes ahead of runner-up Andreas Mikkelsen, from Norway (also a Volkswagen driver), followed by the Belgian Thierry Neuville (Hyundai). “This rally is the most important of the season, to my mind,”
The triple world champion went on to add: “It’s deeply moving to have won here three times in a row, and something I’ve dreamt of since I was a little boy. To prevail in such a tough race three years running is fantastic—and definitely due to the extraordinary collective efforts of the whole team.”
With an enthusiasm rarely witnessed on the circuit, the driver celebrated this victory as though it were his first. This latest success serves to confirm Sébastien Ogier’s dominance in the first part of the season.
The Maison Richard Mille, which enjoys partnerships with some of the finest competitors in the world, shares Sébastien Ogier’s joy in celebrating this victory, and is proud to see the Richard Mille name associated with this renowned driver.
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia will next head to Karlstad, to participate in the Swedish Rally on 11–14 February, a remarkable leg of the WRC in which snow presides over the course.
As the drivers of the WRC Championship leave Monte Carlo for the 84th time, Richard Mille is delighted to announce his new partnership with the triple world WRC rally champion, Sébastien Ogier. Sébastien recently joined the Jura-based watchmaker’s family of sporting friends. He will wear the most iconic driving watch created by the brand.
Sébastien Ogier, new Richard Mille partner
At the age of just 32, this season the rally driver from Gap in France is driving the Volkswagen Polo R WRC wearing the RM 011 titanium flyback chronograph. He boasts one of the finest careers in rallying, less than 10 years after his debut. When he landed behind the wheel of the 2006 Peugeot 206 Cup, Sébastien Ogier also met his co-driver Julien Ingrassia, who has remained at his side ever since. Sébastien finished as best rookie driver with a podium place and sixth place in the cup, which is a promotional rally race presenting real diversity by combining mud and asphalt legs. After winning the championship the following year, Sébastien Ogier was immediately recognized by the press and automobile professionals who agreed that he had a very bright future ahead of him, openly comparing him to another of the discipline’s great figures, Sébastien Loeb (Richard Mille partner since 2013).
Sébastien Ogier’s career went global in 2008 when he competed in the J-WRC junior world rally championship. During the first leg in Mexico – and for the first time in the history of the competition – he won the race and earned one point in the WRC world rally championship. Enthroned as world champion in Corsica, in 2009 Sébastien Ogier progressed to the top category of the WRC with the Citroën Junior Team behind the wheel of a C4 WRC, winning second place in the Acropolis Rally and his first victory in the Rally de Portugal in 2010. Four years of dazzling progress in terms of both his driving and his performance record comforted Citroën in its decision to add him to the Citroën World Rally Team alongside Sébastien Loeb. In 2012 Sébastien Ogier’s career really took off with Volkswagen Motorsport. Accompanied as always by his co-driver Julien Ingrassia, he won the WRC world championship in 2013 by clocking up nine victories, 11 podium places, 111 scratch times and 290 points. He repeated these feats in 2014 and 2015 with 267 and 236 points respectively, making him the second best driver in the world in terms of victories.
Affinities with watchmaking
Richard Mille was put in contact with Sébastien Ogier by his friend Nicolas Todt. The affinities between the watchmaker and the driver can firstly be explained by their shared passion. Sébastien
makes no attempt to hide his enthusiasm when he talks about Richard Mille: “He’s not just any watchmaker; he has a big reputation in the car racing world. Richard Mille is also enthusiastic about the field and has strong ties to it.”
This is undoubtedly one of the reasons that made it possible for the brand to support the sportsman in his discipline. Sébastien Ogier
admits, “I had never driven with a watch before because they’re not made for it. But as Rafael Nadal says, a Richard Mille is like a second skin! The fact that it is light gives me confidence. Being inside a rally car isn’t like an F1 cockpit where space is limited, so the size of the watch matters less than the comfort. In my field, you’re constantly fighting against the clock to gain a few tenths or even hundreds of a second. So the reliability of the chronograph is another decisive factor. I live life in the fast lane, so timing is important. I am therefore very lucky to have a watch partner like Richard Mille.”
As for Richard Mille, the watchmaker was naturally won over by the sporting performance of the triple world champion and while he admires Sébastien’s career, he values his great humanity even more. The two men also share a competitive mindset which causes them to always strive for excellence in their respective disciplines – it’s a perfect match.