Ogier out to protect lead
Sebastian Ogier says that protecting his World Rally Championship lead will be his priority at this week's Rally Germany.
The Frenchman is in the box seat to claim his maiden drivers' championship with a 90-point gap over his closest rivals with five rounds of the season remaining.
Ogier claimed his fifth win of the season last time out in Finland and could feasibly secure the title without adding to that total.
The 29-year-old admitted that would be a factor as he prepares to take his Volkswagen on to the tarmac in Germany.
"I am trying to take a totally happy-go-lucky approach to the Rally Germany," he told the World Rally's official website.
"A win would obviously be a hugely important step towards the title and the World Championship is my dream for this season.
"However, when you look at the current standings, I do not necessarily have to win at all costs."
Winning for his manufacturer though is an incentive. Ogier believes Volkswagen have been the key to him opening up such a sizeable gap, with team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala level in second place with Thierry Neuville in his Ford Fiesta.
"My goal will be to maintain my lead in the drivers' championship. Having said that, victory in Germany would be fantastic for my team," he said.
"They more than deserve it. Our team is making all the difference at the moment. We head to Germany full of confidence. To be perfectly honest: why shouldn't we win there?"
Neuville could break the Volkswagen dominance at the top after he finished second in Finland.
The Belgian believes victory this weekend is not beyond him on a surface he predicts will also aid him.
"I have more experience on asphalt and it is the surface I feel most confident on so I definitely want to finish on the podium," he said.
"Of course we will have to wait and see what our speed is like on the stages, but it might even be possible to fight for the win.
"Finding a good set-up for all types of stages is very important, but we've had a good test so far and the car feels really good.
"We've had some really good test roads and were able to try a lot of different settings. Both Nicolas [Gilsoul, co-driver] and I are really looking forward to this event - it's practically a home rally for us."