With last year’s world champion Sebastien Ogier now able to access more funding from Ford, it seems he might be unstoppable in the 2018 season.
Despite falling victim to a few setbacks, the Frenchman overall ended up almost a full minute ahead of Toyota’s newest weapon Ott Tanak, who again was nearly a minute ahead of teammate Jari-Matti Latvala in third for the rally.
Then again, Rally eMonte Carlo thrives on setbacks.
Thierry Neuville ditched his car on SS1 (0:15, main video)
The treacherous night stages in the late hours of day 1 are an unknown quantity, more so than the rest of the unpredictable Monte.
While Ogier avoided the slippery trap, Neuville lost a lot of time sitting still in a ditch after the ice was unkind.
Andreas Mikkelsen’s car gave up (0:24, main vid)
You’d be worried if you looked out your front window and saw a Hyundai rally car headed straight for your house, but Mikkelsen was probably more concerned later on when his alternator failed, leaving him with only three points by the rally’s end.
Ogier’s car also ended up in a ditch on SS7
It’s a good thing rallying is such a strong spectator sport, or a lot more time would have been lost when half of Ogier’s Fiesta ended up in a ditch after a spin.
Dani Sordo hit a tree on SS9
You can probably imagine what that bleep was covering.
Lappi’s car went full Matrix on SS11 (4:23 in this video)
Despite the fact that Keanu Reeves was nowhere nearby, Lappi’s Yaris decided to wall-run like it could bend reality.
Unfortunately for Lappi, reality still won, and he lost enough time to drop a few places on the last day of Monte.
Smoke and sun caught Ogier off guard
Finally, though this list is non-exhaustive, SS15 saw Ogier lose vision temporarily when a spectator’s flare left smoke all over the road in front of him.
Though the WRC live camera (above) didn’t pick up how bad the haze was, Ogier’s onboard camera (below) is a good indication that he really had zero visibility.