After a shortened season in 2020, the World Rally Championship (WRC) will return to action this coming weekend for what we hope is an uninterrupted season. The drivers will be in one of the most iconic racing cities in the world, as Monte Carlo will serve as the host for the first race of the 2021 season. One of the big questions heading into the new year is whether anyone cam dethrone Sebastien Ogier, who has won the championship in 6 of the last 7 years. He is the favorite to repeat again, but there are a few other drivers who could deliver a serious challenge. Let’s get the ball rolling by looking at the favorites for the Monte Carlo Rally so you can get ready to make your bets against their WRC odds.
WRC 2021 Rally de Monte Carlo Betting Analysis
As mentioned earlier, Ogier has dominated the WRC for the past several years, winning 6 of the last 7 championships. Last season, which was shortened due to the pandemic, Ogier managed 2 wins and 5 podium finishes, which was enough to get him to the top of the driver standings, just 8 points ahead of the second place driver. Monte Carlo has been a great location for Ogier over the years. He finished 2nd last season, breaking a run that had seen him win in Monte Carlo in 6 straight seasons. You can certainly see why he is the favorite this weekend.
The last driver to win a championship who is not Sebastien Ogier was Ott Tanak, who landed on top in 2019. He was in the hunt until the end last season, but eventually came in 3rd, which is where he has finished in 3 of the last 4 seasons. He will be looking to get off to a better start than he did last season in Monte Carlo, where he was forced to retire. Prior to that run, Tanak was on a streak that had seen him land on the podium in this race in 3 straight seasons.
After 4 straight seasons of finishing 2nd in the driver standings, Neuville took a little bit of a backward step by finishing 4th in the shortened season. It all looked so promising at the start of the year, with Neuville getting the season off to a winning start by finishing 1st in Monte Carlo. He had 2 more podium finishes after that, but it was being forced to retire in a pair of different races that eventually did him in. Look for a bounce back year from Neuville in 2021.
Moving to a new team seemed to be just what the doctor ordered for Elfyn Evans, as the Welshman finished just begin Ogier in second in the shortened season. He has 3 wins on the season, but a rather poor showing in the final rally of the year hurt his chances of claiming the championship. He took the podium in Monte Carlo last season and will certainly be a driver to keep an eye on in 2021.