Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Nicky Grist Stages re­port, p28 Photos: mck­lein-im­age­

Volk­swa­gen team prin­ci­pal Jost Capito fears a de­ci­sion to force the World Rally Cham­pi­onship leader to run at the front of the field on ev­ery stage next sea­son could force Se­bastien Ogier into re­tire­ment.

WRC Pro­moter and the teams met in Mu­nich last week in an ef­fort to fi­nalise a so­lu­tion for pos­si­ble new run­ning or­der reg­u­la­tions next sea­son. While the meet­ing didn’t de­liver one spe­cific plan to take for­ward to WRC Com­mis­sion for de­bate with the FIA, it uni­fied the need for change.

FIA rally direc­tor Jarmo Ma­ho­nen had stated the cham­pi­onship leader could run at the front of the field for three days – one more than this sea­son’s reg­u­la­tions.

Capito is con­fi­dent a re­cent soft­en­ing of the view of the gov­ern­ing body will bring respite for Ogier in 2017.

Ogier has al­ways steered clear of a di­rect an­swer to the ques­tion of what he would do if the cham­pi­onship leader had to run at the front for the du­ra­tion of a WRC round. Asked the same ques­tion, Capito replied: “I think he might re­tire. You would have to ask him, but as I know him I think he would re­tire. And maybe that would not be so bad for some… But I don’t think it will hap­pen, so I don’t think about this. Seb is OK that this is the way it is this year and he goes for it this year and it will change next year.”

Fol­low­ing the Mu­nich meet­ing, how­ever, Capito said he was op­ti­mistic of change to make life eas­ier for the cham­pi­onship leader.

“We all agree what we have now is wrong,” said Capito. “But we are not agreed on the com­mon way for­ward, there are lot of op­tions to dis­cuss in [WRC] Com­mis­sion. I won’t tell you my pre­ferred way for­ward, but any­thing and ev­ery­thing is better than what we have now. I think there has been a soft­en­ing in the [FIA] view.”

French­man dis­likes run­ning or­der rules Ogier (left) “might re­tire” says Capito

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