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Both Thierry Neuville and Sebastien Ogier went to Germany with an increasing Drivers’ championship points deficit behind Ott Tanak. Neuville had two successive low-scoring sixth places in the past two events and had no podium result since Portugal in early June. His most recent disappointment was in Finland when heavy rain prevented any meaningful test for set-up or to learn about new parts on the car. Earlier in Chile his driving error when leading the championship had a huge consequence in his championship momentum, from which he has not yet recovered. Germany was expected to be a good event if punctures could be avoided, but the result at the end of the rally would create the time to formulate the policies for the ensuing rallies. Turkey is expected to be rough, and a result would be a gauge in the success of saving the car.
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