Capito [pictured, right] said he was happy to give Ogier free rein because Volkswagen now has a healthy lead over Citroen in the FIA WRC manufacturers’ championship.
It is also some payback for Ogier, who missed out on securing the drivers’ crown by a single point in Australia despite winning the rally and taking a maximum three bonus points on the Power Stage.
“The result was good for the manufacturers’ championship and now he’s got the opportunity to seize the title once and for all at his home rally,” said Capito.
“To get the manufacturers’ lead by more than 40 points, this allows Seb to really fight in France. The whole team will support him unconditionally. If the gap was smaller, we might have had some tough words [with Ogier], but now he can really go for it. I’m sure he’s happy for this.”
Ogier will head to France 83 points ahead of his closest rival, Thierry Neuville, and will seal the title if he finishes tenth or better on the all-asphalt rally.
“Of course I am happy to be told I can fight,” said Ogier. “The competition will be interesting with Dani [Sordo] and Thierry – they are both quick, and, of course, Seb [Loeb] will be coming back and we know he will be on the pace.”
“I’m looking forward to my home rally and the fans in France. I want to clinch the title there by winning and take my team a big step closer to winning the Manufacturers’ Championship.”