Andreas Mikkelsen believes he took a big step forward in his asphalt performance at last weekend's ADAC Rallye Deutschland and claims his fourth place still felt like a win.
The Norwegian started well, carving out an early lead in the Moselle vineyards and keeping his Volkswagen team-mate Sébastien Ogier behind until SS8 when the action moved to his rival's preferred Panzerplatte stages.
Second place became third on Sunday morning when Mikkelsen was caught by Dani Sordo, and then fourth when Thierry Neuville also crept by shortly afterwards.
Hampered by a lack of brakes on the final stage and a tyre choice that was geared towards rain that never arrived, Mikkelsen missed out on the podium by 1.4sec but insisted it was a decent weekend nonetheless.
"The weekend wasn't so bad, I mean there are many positive things to take with me," he told wrc.com.
"Even though it's a fourth place I feel it's like a victory because I've really shown I can fight for the win in Rally Germany - and on the kind of stages where I was never even close before.
"We have taken a good progression for sure from last year. Of course, I need to improve my Panzerplatte stage if I really want to fight for the win here but I have never tested in that area so hopefully that can be improved for next year."
Twelve points from Germany keeps Mikkelsen second in the drivers' standings, 16 points ahead of Hayden Paddon.
"Okay, It didn't end the way I wanted it to, but I put more points on the table and increased my gap to third place in the championship, so in that way it's positive," he added.