Sebastien Ogier will be free to fight with archrival Sebastien Loeb as the presumptive and reigning World Rally Champions go head to head in next month's Rally of France.
Volkswagen team principal Jost Capito admitted it would have been difficult to sanction any kind of win-or-bust approach for Ogier if the German squad was not so close to sealing the World Rally Championship manufacturers' award. VW now holds a 48-point lead with three rallies remaining.
The Alsace-based French round on Oct. 4-6 will be Loeb's final WRC outing and the last chance for anybody to take on the record-breaking, nine-time champion.
Capito said: "If our lead was less than this, then we might have had to have some tough words for Seb [Ogier]. In France, the focus could have been on the manufacturers' championship -- and we agreed at the start of the season that we would focus on this and not on beating Loeb on this rally.
"But now, things are looking good. I realise the result in Australia meant Seb missed his world title, but, to be honest, it made the manufacturers' championship look stronger for us -- this is the result I prefer!"
Ogier questioned whether Capito would really have tried to slow him down.
"It would have been frustrating to be in that position and I'm not sure he could really ask me that this year -- maybe he can more ask my teammate for that," Ogier said. "At the moment, I have done a good job for them and brought a lot of points to the team and they have to trust me. I'm sure he would have given me the chance to do it."