Monday | 01 Aug 2016

Latvala: 'I didn't have the fighting spirit'

Jari-Matti Latvala believes a lack of fighting spirit was to blame for his failure to take a third consecutive home victory at Neste Rally Finland.

Latvala lost ground with a puncture early on, and then re-considered his bid for victory when he passed Volkswagen team-mate and championship leader, Sébastien Ogier, in a ditch in Stage 10.

"Overall of course I’m a bit disappointed. I’ve won this rally the last two years but I couldn’t do it this year. Somehow I didn’t have the same fighting spirit that I have had in the last two years," said Latvala.

"In the beginning on Friday I had it but then I made a mistake and I lost 15 seconds. I tried and tried but then I think things changed on Friday evening when Sébastien went off. It put me in a bit of a different position. After that it was difficult to find that last bit for the driving, I was maybe a bit too much on the safe side."

Eighteen points for second plus one extra from the Power Stage promoted Latvala to third in the drivers' title race and added to Volkswagen's total in the manufacturers' fight.

"With Citroën not registered in the Championship, when I climbed up to second position I was actually getting the first manufacturer points and the team really needs these points," Latvala explained.

"Also, in the drivers’ championship I was calculating that now we can also catch Ogier so I can’t afford to do a mistake. Having this in my head was maybe making me a little bit too much on the safe side on Saturday and then also on Sunday.

"On Saturday morning after the first time on Ouninpohja we realised there was no chance anymore to catch Kris. All in all, we could not have done any more against him this weekend. He and Paul did a superb drive, they really, really deserve it."


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