Volkswagen boss Jost Capito believes the decision to ban drivers from seeing the split times in stages this season has made the WRC more “exciting”.
Drivers use to be able to compare the split times with their rivals during a test, allowing them to gauge whether or not they were going too slow, or taking needless risks if they had a good margin over the car behind. But from this season, teams are no longer permitted to communicate that information once they are actually in a test competing.
“It is more exciting [now],” Capito said in Mexico last weekend, following the third round in the 2015 World Rally Championship, when quizzed on the ban.
“We see the splits [back in service]. But we have a really good relationship between the manufacturers. We have a gentleman's agreement and we are all working within the regulations and we accept the rule [about split times] and we trust each other [not to break it].”
Meanwhile, Capito lauded the performance put in by his number one driver Sebastien Ogier, the Frenchman taking his third win of the season and his third win on the trot in Leon. Ogier now extends his lead in the Drivers' Championship to 34 points.
“I think he did a brilliant performance and the best performance of any rally so far. To get to the podium and with the clever tyre choice and driving to lead on day one and day two, it was outstanding. It just shows that he and Julien [Ingrassia - his co-driver] justify being World Champions,” Capito continued.
“Sebastien and Julien more than deserve this triumph – it was a flawless rally from the two of them.
"It was a great weekend us. It is always great to win especially for the third time here. Volkswagen has an important engine and gearbox plant here and we are really happy to deliver this result for everyone.
“All in all, we are very happy with the outcome of the Rally Mexico.”
Capito was also very pleased with VW II driver Andreas Mikkelsen
- describing his start to the 2015 WRC season as “superb” after the Norwegian finished up on the podium again – while he added that Jari-Matti Latvala
was annoyed by his crash on Saturday. The Finn eventually finished 15th under Rally 2 and failed to score, just like in Sweden, leaving him 62 points behind Ogier.
“Jari is feeling bad about the result – but otherwise he would not be a driver. We have no team orders at Volkswagen and we let them drive. You could see they were close and just two-tenths of a second apart after 25 kilometres of a stage at the split time. This shows the level at which they are driving and it is easy to make a mistake.
"We would like to see those fights in the future. Seb and Jari like this and Mads [Ostberg] and Andreas are also close and enjoy the fight.
"Jari made the best of the unfortunate situation after his crash and did [still] pick up some points for the team in the Manufacturers'.”