Sebastien Ogier says he hasn’t given up the fight with Jari-Matti Latvala for victory at Rally Argentina, but he acknowledges it will be hard to overturn the Finn’s 21.2sec lead.
After seven stages - the rally’s halfway point - the Volkswagen team-mates are in a battle of their own, more than a minute ahead of the chasing pack.
A super confident Latvala began today with a lead of 17.7sec and extended that on both the morning tests. Ogier meanwhile struggled on the soft and rutted stages.
Ogier praised Latvala’s pace but denied he had given up on his target of a maiden Argentina victory.
“I have to say that Jari-Matti did a really good job this morning, and especially on the second one he was pretty fast," said Ogier. "For us, not a bad morning but, yeah, just a little bit too slow.
“For now second place is not so bad for us. If the rally ends like that it would not be a big drama - it would be another good result. That doesn’t mean that I’m giving up, because there is still a long way to go and a lot of things can happen. But if Jari-Matti continues like this morning it will be hard to catch him.”
Ogier said his biggest problem was the state of the roads. “The conditions were rougher than I expected. The road is quite damaged and there are already big ruts, so I was not really in the mood to push like crazy.”
“These are not the conditions I enjoy. I prefer it smooth and fast and pure driving. Here, you have to be aggressive and in the deep sand you take a lot of risks with the tyres in every corner.”