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  1. #3321
    Senior Member Gregor-y's Avatar
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    To be fair it was as a teammate to Loeb at Citroen, an aberration to the WRC that caused plenty of knock-on effects.

  2. #3322
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    Also fun fact, in a way Sordo was the perfect team mate to Loeb, he was consistent enough to bring points but not fast enough to really challenge him. But crucially he was fast enough especially on tarmac to slot between Loeb and his rivals, Gronholm and later Hirvonen. In this era the title contenders often finished 1-2 and the points were 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 so if you had just one more position between then the margin was double. Of course this is all hypothetical but you could say Loeb owes Sordo some beers for the following titles:

    2006 - title victory margin is 1 point - Sordo finished in P2 behind Loeb but ahead of Gronholm in Spain and Germany - difference of 4p in Loebs favour compared to if Sordo was not there
    2007 - title victory margin is 4 points - Sordo finished in P2 splitting them in Monte and Spain plus he finished P3 ahead of Gronholm in P4 in Portugal so that's one more point for a total of 5
    2009 - title victory margin is 1 point - Sordo finished P2 in Monte and Spain splitting Loeb and Hirvonen giving Loeb 4p in total

    So teoretically if Loeb had some worse team-mate we would have Loeb 6x WDC, Gronholm 4x WDC and Hirvonen 1x WDC.

    Now interestingly the reverse combinations (Gronholm-Hirvonen and Hirvonen-Latavala) were less effective:
    2007 - Hirvonen took 2 points away from Gronholm by winning Norway when Loeb retired, but the did slot between them once in Finland so total is 0 - you could argue it was too soon for tactics as Norway was round 3
    2009 - Latvala never slotted between the title contenders but was allowed to win Italy ahead of Hirvonen even after it was already clear he had no chance at the title - to be fair Hirvonen had not yet won a rally that season but then went on to win 4 in succession

    So yeah, this is all hindsight and there are mitigating circumstances, for example in 2009 Wilson let Latvala take the win because he was coming off a bad streak and wanted to boost his morale. Team tactics are hard decisions to take but maybe sometimes you need to be ruthless if you really want the trophy. So let's say MSport declares Gronholm the team leader in 2007 and the switch them already at round 3, and they buy Latvala a beer in Italy 2009 but make him give up the win we have Loeb 7x WDC, Gronholm 3x WDC and Hirvonen 1x WDC.

    Now this topic often comes up in the silly season, about having a team-mate to help for the title. I actually went back almost 30 years and I saw no more examples of anyone actually making the difference to decide the title. There are some cases where they helped but in the end it didn't matter. There are a lot of cases like the counter examples above, where team-mates took points away from each other. So it seems the team mate matters very little, maybe in like 10% of cases, the rest it's more important to be good and have a good team and car.

    So after I did all this investigating I actually think Sordo is maybe under-rated, by some at least. I'm happy for him that he got 3 wins and not all on tarmac. What do you think?
    Last edited by seb_sh; 20th February 2024 at 20:20. Reason: typo

  3. Likes: J4MIE (3rd April 2024),manthey (21st February 2024),Morte66 (20th February 2024)
  4. #3323
    Senior Member PLuto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seb_sh View Post
    Also fun fact, in a way Sordo was the perfect team mate to Loeb, he was consistent enough to bring points but not fast enough to really challenge him.?
    He was asked not to challenge him...

  5. #3324
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    I only know Sordo from 2016 onwards. FWIW... in my time, the most important thing about Sordo was that he was prepared to be a support driver.

    I remember when Adamo hired Breen for Wales, specifically with the brief of driving safely and being sure to finish, in case one of the top Hyundai drivers went out. It was public, Adamo said it, and Breen said it, that was his job. Breen did the job for three or four stages then started talking about competing for the win and rolled the car.

    Sordo was the opposite of that. And he was quick enough to come 5th or 6th (in a world with VW) whilst driving within himself and finishing reliably.

  6. Likes: J4MIE (3rd April 2024)
  7. #3325
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    Quote Originally Posted by PLuto View Post
    He was asked not to challenge him...
    I suppose there were team orders on tarmac but on gravel he was usually behind, so for the championship in that era he couldn't really challenge him. So in that way for the championship it makes sense what they did.

  8. #3326
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    Happy 50th birthday Maestro Loeb!

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  10. #3327
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    Quote Originally Posted by PLuto View Post
    He was asked not to challenge him...
    you really believe that Sordo he could beat him?

  11. Likes: cali (5th March 2024)
  12. #3328
    Senior Member PLuto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimviii View Post
    you really believe that Sordo he could beat him?
    I have never told it...

  13. #3329
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimviii View Post
    you really believe that Sordo he could beat him?
    on some occasions, yes. he could have had a few more wins than he has now.

    But sordo was smart enough to not do that, and that's how he managed to stay in the wrc for 18 years.

  14. Likes: J4MIE (3rd April 2024)
  15. #3330
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    The only instances I could find in which Citroen could have asked Sordo not to challenge Loeb are Catalunya 2007 and Catalunya 2009. Maybe New Zealand 2008, but was a particular case, as Hirvonen and Latvala threw the rally away at the penultimate stage while they were 1st and 2nd.

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