After a frustrating run to fourth place at YPF Rally Argentina, Sébastien Ogier has sought consolation in the haul of 14 championship points that extended his lead in the drivers' standings.
The Frenchman, who is yet to win Argentina's WRC round, got off to a strong start with fastest time on the rally-opening Super Special, but lost the lead on Friday when he struggled for traction as first car in the start order.
A better start position should have helped Ogier to improve his fourth position on Saturday, but instead he remained off the podium pace and was outshone by his M-Sport team-mate Ott Tänak on each of the day's six stages.
"The rally started quite well with a fairly satisfying first leg. Fourth place was quite a good outcome, taking into account our role as first car out, which is always difficult to deal with on a gravel leg," Ogier explained. "So we had reasons for optimism, and yet the results didn't match our hopes because of a lot of little problems which slowed us down throughout the weekend. Performances were not what we were hoping for.
"This was linked to the fact that the car had too much wheel-spin which led to a lack of traction, a lack of performance and premature tyre wear – although managing tyres has always been a strength of ours."
Unable to challenge for a podium place, Ogier saved his Fiesta's tyres in preparation for a big push on Sunday's Power Stage that netted fourth-fasted time and two bonus points.
"With all the difficulties we had to deal with, we can be happy to have scored important points in the championship because, even if Thierry Neuville has gained ground on us, we increased our lead over our nearest rival, Jari-Matti Latvala. That's one of the positives I'll take from this weekend," said Ogier, who has a series of tests planned before the next WRC round in Portugal [18 - 21 May].
"We need to keep working, analysing the data from this weekend and trying to find a solution during the next tests," he added.
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