Monday | 25 May 2015

Latvala's relief at Portugal success

Jari-Matti Latvala says that yesterday’s victory at Vodafone Rally de Portugal released the pressure that built up following his disappointing start to the WRC season.

Second in the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo was followed by pointless outings in Sweden, Mexico and Argentina, leaving him languishing in ninth in the drivers’ standings.

But his 8.2sec victory in Matosinhos over Volkswagen Motorsport team-mate Sébastien Ogier, Latvala’s 13th career win, has revitalised the Finn.

“The pressure coming out of my shoulders is enormous,” he said. “There was quite a lot of pressure coming to this event and my confidence was really, really on the bottom. Climbing up the hill to win was a big thing.

“When you don’t do well you end up in a negative circle and then you start to be negative yourself, not just in your driving but bringing negative energy into everything. You have to get out of that circle. But I don’t even want to get into the circle so that’s why I have to do better results,” he said.

The Finn admitted to feeling nervous before starting the final live TV Power Stage – the iconic Fafe test – where he had to defend a 10.4sec lead.

“Of course, there was a bit of pressure at the beginning of the stage. I wanted to get some points from the Power Stage but when you are in a situation where you really need a victory, you can’t give everything.

“I made two mistakes but Seb was fantastic right there. Overall I was happy with what we achieved. Victory and two points from the Power Stage is really good after the rough time I have been going through,” he said.

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