Volkswagen Motorsport boss Jost Capito has paid tribute to his team for its clean sweep of the podium at Rallye Monte-Carlo, saying the result was down to a totally mistake-free event.
Volkswagen started its third World Rally Championship season in the best possible way, with Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen taking first, second and third places.
The one-two-three was Volkswagen’s 23rd victory with the Polo R WRC and the eleventh time it has had more than one car on the podium since it joined the series in 2013. It was also a dream debut for the squad’s new second generation Polo R, which was driven by Ogier and Latvala.
“It’s a fantastic feeling for the team. Winning Monte Carlo is very special in itself. A 1-2-3, you can’t imagine - it’s not settled in our minds what has happened here,” said Capito.
“The key here was no mistakes, none of the six drivers or any of the mechanics or the engineers talking about the tyre choice made any,” said Capito. “The driver counts more than the car on this rally and there is not a scratch [on the car] and no mistakes,” he added.
Volkswagen became only the fifth manufacturer since 1973 to lock out the Monte podium, an achievement it shares with established rally names Renault-Alpine, Lancia, Audi and Citroën.
“To start the season in this manner with a new car, and in such difficult conditions, far exceeds our expectations. The entire troop worked in perfect harmony. This team is now deservedly up there with the other big rally manufacturers,” reflected Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development.