WRC teams must sign Mikkelsen now - ex-VW boss

WRC teams must sign Mikkelsen now - ex-VW boss
By AutoSport

Any team wanting to win the 2017 World Rally Championship manufacturers' title needs to sign Andreas Mikkelsen immediately, says his former Volkswagen boss Jost Capito.

Mikkelsen starts this week's Rally of Portugal in a Skoda Fabia R5 after negotiations with Toyota, Hyundai and Citroen failed to land him a World Rally Car seat for the rest of the season.

He has been out of the top class since VW withdrew at the end of 2016.

During a guest appearance on the latest Autosport podcast, Capito said Mikkelsen could make the difference in the WRC manufacturers' championship race.

Autosport's WRC 2017 special podcast

"Whichever team is really focused and wants to be world champion needs to get Andreas in the car now," Capito said.

WRC MANUFACTURERS' STANDINGS:

Capito denied Toyota's lack of title aspirations in what has been described as a "learning year" on its WRC return was a good enough reason not to pick Mikkelsen.

"I have been in charge of a team when we talked about a development year," said Capito.

"But when you win one rally or two rallies then that changes the objectives.

"Even if it is a development year, you have to become fully focused and do everything you can to win this bloody championship.

"And it's not only Toyota, I am fully convinced Citroen needs Andreas.

"It depends what you are willing to do to win the championship.

"If you want to win the manufacturers' Citroen is not in the position with this driver line-up [of Kris Meeke, Craig Breen and Stephane Lefebvre].

"But if they had gone with Andreas they would have had the line-up to win the manufacturers'.

"This is not the practice year for them: they are expected to win."

Mikkelsen has won WRC2 with Skoda on both his WRC appearances this year.

"There's no doubt, he's a very strong driver," Capito added.

"He has developed so well, it's a shame not see him [in a WRC].

"Every time he steps into WRC2, he dominates and he can do what he wants in that class."

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