Sebastien Ogier insists that he doesn't see himself as the favourite for the 2013 World Rally Championship title despite his impressive start to the campaign.
Ogier heads to Mexico this weekend having secured his first victory in the new Volkswagen Polo WRC last time out in Sweden.
Having also finished second on the season opener in Monte Carlo, Ogier tops the championshop standings ahead of Sebastien Loeb, although Loeb is only due to appear on two more events this year as he switches focus to his career away from the WRC.
However, Ogier insisted that doesn't make him the automatic favourite for the championship, especially as Rally Mexico this weekend will mark the first time that the Polo has competed on gravel.
“We have only completed two of the 13 rounds of the World Championship,” he said. “We still don't really know how good we are, or how competitive the Polo R WRC is on gravel. Maybe we will rethink our goals for the season after Portugal or Argentina. One thing is certain, however: if we are still in with a chance at the end of the season, we will fight all the way.
“We are obviously more than happy with the way the season has started. However, Monte Carlo and Sweden are unique rallies, which cannot be compared with other rounds of the World Championship. We will have to wait and see how we fair on gravel, as that is the surface, on which most of the WRC rallies are staged.
“We still have a long way to go. However, we can now relax a little, as we already have valuable World Championship points. As such, the other teams are now under more pressure than we are.”
In something of an ominous warning to his rivals however, Ogier said the car he had competed with in Sweden was the best he has had to date.
“When Julien and I returned to the Service Park after the Power Stage on Sunday, and the entire team greeted us with a round of applause, everyone was so pleased,” he said. “Just seeing all those happy faces made it worth all the hard work we have put in over the past few months. It was the perfect rally! The Polo R WRC was outstanding, even better than at the Monte. I have never had such a good car in Sweden.”