Jari-Matti Latvala has apologised to Volkswagen after he crashed out of the Rallye Monte Carlo.
Latvala, who has switched to VW this season from Ford, went into the final day in fifth place overall, having moved ahead of Citroen's Mikko Hirvonen at the end of the third leg. However it all went wrong in the opening test on Saturday, SS14, when the Finn crashed into the barriers. Although all the drivers struggled through the Col de Turini stage and complained about how tough the conditions were, with Evgeny Novikov and Juho Hanninen also sidelined, Latvala was still bitterly disheartened.
“I am very disappointed,” said Latvala. “There was more wet snow in the first run through the Col de Turini stage than I expected. I was too fast right in the beginning, the car did not turn as expected, and I crashed heavily.
“Another car had slipped there before I did and I hit the same lane. There was nothing I could do.
“It was my goal to gather lots of experience with the Polo R WRC and it is bitter to end the rally this way.
“I am sorry for the guys because they prepared the cars brilliantly. I really wanted to give them a points' result.”
Sebastien Ogier, who finished second in the sister car, meanwhile had a few words of encouragement for his new team-mate: “I am sorry for Jari-Matti but I am sure that we will celebrate further victories together for Volkswagen in the future,” he added.