Volkswagen chief Jost Capito says the speed with which his team reacted to the Polo R WRC’s mid-season mechanical issues was key to Sebastien Ogier’s first World Rally Championship title.
The Polo R WRC was struck by a problem with the hydraulic handbrake in Portugal and Argentina, but this was fixed in time for the Acropolis Rally.
There were further reliability issues and a significant transmission change for Jari-Matti Latvala that helped the mid-year development of the Volkswagen.
“The team reacted fantastically and very quick and all the issues were sorted and solved and that allowed us to continue with the success,” said Capito.
“Once we got to the top then we were able to stay there. There has been no weak link in the team.”
Capito admitted he was struggling to take in the emotion of such success in Volkswagen’s first full season in the sport.
“I can’t describe the feeling,” said Capito. “It’s like going from one dream to the next. You know in Monte Carlo, we were second, but we were saying: ‘OK, this is lucky because you never know what Monte Carlo will be like…’
“Then we said wait for Sweden, but Sweden wasn’t typical [because of the snow] and then it was the same in Mexico, when we had the altitude – so we said wait for Portugal.
“Then we came to Portugal and we won there, but this was so lucky. We said: ‘Ooof, we have to learn a lot’. But we did.”