Tuesday | 16 Feb 2016

Latvala: We've used our jokers

Jari-Matti Latvala concedes that both he and his Volkswagen team have played their 2016 jokers after no-scores on the season's opening two rounds.

Latvala started the year as the most credible threat to his team-mate and defending champion Sébastien Ogier. Instead, the Finn finds himself 56-points adrift after a driving error at Rallye Monte-Carlo and then a mechanical failure at Rally Sweden took him out of points contention.

Latvala was two kilometres from the end of the first stage in Sweden last weekend when his Polo R suffered a drive shaft joint failure. He pushed on with only rear-wheel drive but later retired from the day with suspension damage.

"I have used my joker, I did a mistake in Monte-Carlo, and now the car has used its joker. Now we have none left and for me the season should start again at the next round in Mexico," Latvala told wrc.com.

"Sweden was a hard weekend. Driving the whole of Friday fighting with a broken car. I did what I could on the Power Stage but as first car on the road there was no chance to get points. It's a shame, but that's the way it is. Now we need to go forward."

Volkswagen team boss Jost Capito offered Latvala an apology for the mechanical failure, which was not something the team had experienced before. But with such a big points deficit to Ogier already, Latvala acknowledged that he had revised his goals.
"The start of the season has been completely different to what I had in mind. When you have zero points after two events it's time to go rally-by-rally," he said.

"When it comes to challenging Seb, all I can say is he's very strong. Of course I'll do my best, but I can't do anything else than go to the next event and try to score points."

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