Saturday | 22 Aug 2015

VW drivers free to fight

Volkswagen boss Jost Capito insisted his drivers can continue their inter-team fight at ADAC Rallye Deutschland so long as they don’t jeopardise the squad’s 1-2-3.

With Sébastien Ogier leading Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen in third, Volkswagen is on the cusp of a dream result at its home round of the FIA World Rally Championship. Rallye Deutschland is the only event in the series the all-conquering team has yet to win.

Latvala prompted speculation after the final stage of Saturday morning’s loop that the drivers had been told to hold position with the Polo R cars comfortably ahead of their rivals.

But Capito dampened the rumours and said: “The only order we gave them is that they bring the car home and within their capability they can do whatever they are capable of.

“This is the most difficult team order you can give. If you say Seb wins and tell Jari-Matti to slow down and come second, that’s easy for them. Telling them they must bring the car home, but within that they can fight, is more difficult for them.

“We don’t do other team orders because things can happen and then the other guys have to be there. The best team order is that they drive at their rhythm. If they slow down there’s a higher risk of mistakes than if they drive at their usual rhythm,” said Capito.

As he arrived back at Trier service park, Latvala clarified his comments after the Panzerplatte stages which suggested his fight was over.

“There is no real team order, but I can tell that for sure there are some expectations that we bring the cars home,” he said. “And sometimes that means you create pressure yourself. I have to be clever. If I want I can challenge Seb, there is no team order on that side.”

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