In Argentina the Polo Rs of Ogier and his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala were fitted with the usual pneumatically operated handbrake system that was known to be slow at releasing drive to the front wheels when the handbrake was pulled.
Ogier’s frustration with the system came to a head on the second day when he understeered off the road after efforts to help his car around a tightening corner using the handbrake failed. “We had a problem with the handbrake, like we had for a long time,” he explained.
The Polo R of Volkswagen's third driver, Andreas Mikkelsen, however, was fitted with a newly developed hydraulic system that was faster but unproven in competition.
Today VW’s technical manager Francois-Xavier Demaison confirmed that all three cars will run the hydraulic handbrake in Greece.
“The handbrake system recently became an important issue, and we’ve spent a lot of time dealing with that in the run-up to Greece. When the handbrake was applied, it didn’t disengage the front axle as quickly as drivers like Sébastien Ogier would have liked.
“We’ll be introducing a new hydraulic system in Greece which has undergone an extensive series of planned tests to be approved for use in competition.”
Demaison acknowledged that the new handbrake had been designed in a different way to its predecessor.
“This new system is all about performance rather than other considerations such as durability. In general, our competitors have a slight edge over us on this score.”