Jari-Matti Latvala says his focus is on trying to help Volkswagen strengthen its lead in the manufacturers' championship when the WRC returns to Europe this weekend for Rallye de France.
Team-mate Sebastien Ogier
goes into the event needing just a single point to lift the drivers' championship, while the VW pair will hope to help the German manufacturer extend its current 48 point lead over Citroen.
With Sebastien Loeb
back in action for the final time this year, Citroen
will hope to try and take points away from the current leaders but Latvala said he was eager to try and take a podium finish to help VW maintain its advantage.
“We had a great team result at the Rally Australia, although I personally had hoped for better than fourth place,” he said. “As such, I would like to get back on the podium in France – as I did last year.
“Sebastien Loeb will be making his final appearance and the fans will obviously be most interested in his speed and the duel between Loeb and Sébastien Ogier. However, our goal as a team is to extend our lead in the Manufacturers' Championship – that is what we will be focussing on.”
Team boss Jost Capito agreed that the aim for the weekend was to try and extend the lead going into the final two rounds, although the first target was to help Ogier wrap up the drivers crown.
“Our goal is to maintain this lead, or even extend it if possible,” he said. “Firstly, however, we want to do everything in our power to ensure that Sebastien and Julien finally achieve their dream of winning the World Championship title at their home rally. Furthermore, the duel between Sebastien Ogier
and local favourite Sebastien Loeb
also promises to be particularly exciting. These two superstars are sure to be in full cry in front of their home crowd.”