Jari-Matti Latvala admitted he was disappointed with his result on Wales Rally GB, despite taking a best ever finish of second on the final round of the World Rally Championship.
The BP Ford driver was one of the stars of the event last season when he won ten stages, although windscreen wiper failure in the final test of day one saw him slide off into the bank and lose valuable time.
It meant he finished the event in tenth place, but this time around, the young Finn was on the pace from the start as he was left to uphold Ford honours following an early incident for team-mate Mikko Hirvonen.
Heading into the final few stages, Latvala found himself under pressure from a charging Sebastien Loeb but his best efforts weren't enough to keep the Frenchman behind as he overhauled the Ford to take an eleventh win of the season.
"The roads were frozen solid today and the grip changed all the time," Latvala admitted at the finish. "It was hard to find a rhythm and I hit a bank on the opening stage. I took quite a few risks this morning and at times it was a scary drive.
"I couldn't have driven that final stage any quicker. I told myself I would be either first or second, and not waiting in the forest for a trailer to come and collect the wreckage. I'm disappointed but this is my best finish in Britain and the battle has made me mentally stronger.
"I now feel ready to start next season and fight for the title. I need to be better than the best because it's the winner who is remembered, not the driver who finishes second."
Despite the driver's disappointment, Latvala was praised by team boss Malcolm Wilson, who was impressed by the way he had taken the fight to five-time champion Loeb,
"It was an incredible performance by Jari-Matti against a five-time world champion," he said. "He was under severe pressure and he's made a big step in his career path with a performance that is good for his confidence."