The Frenchman pulled out of last weekend’s Fafe Rally Sprint through illness and although Ogier said earlier this week that he was feeling better, it seems his recovery is taking longer than doctors expected.
“I am far away from my top form,” he admitted at practice this morning, ahead of qualifying. “Portugal was my first victory in WRC in 2010 and I won again in 2011 so I know I can perform here, but it will be difficult this year because my health is not perfect,” he added.
“For more than two weeks now I have not been in good form, so we will see what happens during the rally,” said Ogier.
Volkswagen Motorsport boss Jost Capito said if the rally had been a week earlier then Ogier would not have been fit enough to start.
“We think it is a virus infection and it maybe something that he caught in Mexico. The doctors haven’t been able to identify it yet and earlier this week he was still having difficulty in talking and swallowing,” said Capito.
The team will restrict Ogier’s pre-event commitments for the rest of today in a bid to give him the maximum opportunity to recover before the competition starts tomorrow morning.