WRC - Latvala ready to play supporting role

Jari-Matti Latvala has already prepared himself to play a supporting role to Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier's World Rally Championship bid this season.

WRC - VW never doubted Latvala quality

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Volkswagen team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Sebastien Ogier (Imago)

The Finn has struggled to find form early in his Volkswagen career, while Ogier has hit the ground running since his return to a World Rally Car.

The Frenchman leads the WRC standings by 31 points and leads Latvala by 59 points, having won two of the three rounds so far.

Ogier was part of VW's test programme last season, giving him significantly more experience of the Polo than Latvala.

"He is really impressive," Latvala admitted. "The work he has done is amazing; one year in a Super 2000 car and then to come back to a World Rally Car and have the speed straight away... He is a strong guy, to be honest.

"The way he is going now he has big potential to fight for the championship this year.

"If he is there, and he will have a chance to fight for the title, then I will support him for sure."

Latvala crashed on the opening WRC round in Monte Carlo, struggled for speed in Sweden and then suffered a suspension failure on Rally Mexico. The Finn accepted there was a danger of him falling behind Ogier in the team hierarchy.

"I am a little bit around the corner and in the shade, but the team is fantastic in keeping everybody at the same level," said Latvala.

"I have accepted the situation. For now, I have a bit of time in the first half of the year, but in the second half of the year we need to show some results.

"The biggest difficulty is that we did a lot of testing last year with a small testing plan for the first three rounds of this year, so I did only one day of testing this year.

"I have not been in the car this year [outside the rallies] and that makes it difficult to get the feeling. Before Portugal I will have two days of testing and I know this will make a big difference to go to a rally with two days of driving under the belt."

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