Volkswagen WRC driver Jari-Matti Latvala said that he was too cautious and lacked fighting spirit to go for the victory in his home rally. As Kris Meeke barred him from what would have been his third Rally Finland victory in a row. Latvala has won his home rally in 2010 and 2014-2015 as well, but this time he was just satisfied with the runner-up spot.
Latvala made a mistake and damaged his tyre and dropped to fifth in fourth stage of the rally. but another reason for his lack of pace was after Sebastien Ogier's crash it was all up to him to score for the German squad. Latvala said, "Somehow I didn't have the same fighting spirit that I have had in the last two years. In the beginning on Friday I had it but then I made a mistake quite early on and I lost 15 seconds. I tried and tried but then I think things changed on Friday evening when Sebastien Ogier went off. It put me in a bit of a different position. After that it was difficult to find that last bit for the driving, I was maybe a bit too much on the safe side."
Latvala also had the pressure of manufactures standings, as Citroen is only competing partially. So it was important to bring the car home safely without any hassles. Latvala further said, "Because the situation is that Citroen is not committed to the World Rally Championship, when I climbed up to second position I was actually getting the first manufacturer points and the team really needs these points. Also, in the drivers' championship I was calculating that now we can also catch Ogier so I can't afford to do a mistake. Having this in my head was maybe making me a little bit too much on the safe side on Saturday and then also on Sunday."
Latvala is currently third in the drivers championship after Rally Finland, but still trails by 56 points to Ogier. In manufacturers championship VW leads by 52 points over Hyundai. Kris Meeke stamped his authority on the rally after he took 13 seconds from Latvala in the legendary Ouninpohja stage. Speaking about that Latvala said, "On Saturday morning after the first time on Ouninpohja we realised there was no chance anymore to catch Kris. Kris and [co-driver] Paul [Nagle] did a superb drive, they really, really deserve it."
For more news on happenings in the world of rally, subscribe to us on bottom of the page. Until then, Happy Rallying!