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WRC Rally Mexico: Sebastien Ogier insists even podium is long shot

Sebastien Ogier's only chance of a Rally Mexico podium will come if his rivals hit trouble, the World Rally champion insists

Ogier was fastest at the pre-event shakedown stage on Thursday - beating everybody by 2.2 seconds over the 3.4-mile test - and leads after the evening's superspecials, but he says that means nothing once the rally proper gets started.

The championship leader runs at the front of the field for the two longest days of the event, when the points standings decide the start order, meaning he will get the worst of the dusty road conditions.

He admitted he had spent longer than ever trying to find a compromise with the set-up of his Volkswagen Polo R WRC.

"For me even to be on the podium I think the others have to be pretty bad," Ogier told AUTOSPORT.

"Realistically, it looks difficult, but you never know.

"At least we can count on me to give my best and try.

"It's a little bit frustrating to start the rally like this, but I don't give up at all. I am motivated to try some things to compensate.

"We have been working on the set-up for the car even more than usual to try to generate as much grip as we can.

"At shakedown I ran with some soft tyres - which is how we made the [fastest] time - but it's very risky to take the soft tyre when we have the long loops of stages.

"We will see, we will try and push. On Saturday I hope there might be one or two guys who have to superally [Rally2] and they would run ahead of us."

Ogier has won the first two rounds of this year's WRC and the main threat to his hat-trick chances comes from team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, who starts fourth on the road. The Finn has never won in Mexico.

Another driver chasing his first win in central America is Mads Ostberg, the Norwegian, who has led in Leon for the last two years, said: "I want to enjoy this rally, but the main thing is that I want to finish the job I started in 2013 and 2014."

Follow Rally Mexico as it happens with AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live from 2.45pm UK time

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