Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala has pledged to do 'everything in his power' to try and match team-mate Sebastien Ogier following a relatively difficult weekend in Sweden.
After his disappointing retirement late on in Monte Carlo, Latvala was determined to get to the finish on the second round of the 2013 World Rally Championship and while he took good points with fourth, he was disappointed not to be on the podium.
Indeed at the end of the first day he finished right up with eventual runner-up Sebastien Loeb, just 1.7 seconds back despite intercom issues on the second loop. However on Saturday, Latvala slipped further and further back and was eventually demoted to fourth by a hard charging Mads Ostberg. Although the gap remained close on the final day, in the end the former Ford man had to concede defeat, finishing 6.1 seconds back, and more than a minute off Ogier, who won in the sister Polo R WRC.
“My driving hasn't been so great [this weekend],” Latvala conceded at the finish. “[But] I am delighted for the entire Volkswagen team. To win a race so early in a debut season is something very special.
“I would have liked to finish on the podium myself – and that was certainly possible here at the Rally Sweden with the Polo R WRC. However, I must still adapt my driving style a bit.
“Huge compliments go to my team-mate Sebastien Ogier, who showed just what was possible. He was really impressive all weekend.
"I will do everything in my power to get on a par with him at the forthcoming rallies.”
Meanwhile, writing on his official fan club page on Facebook, Latvala explained a bit more about what he needs to do to get closer to Ogier.
“I have realised I have to change my driving style if I want to fight for the victory, my old style doesn't work anymore,” he noted after SS18.
“I need to be more precise. I have seen now that the car feels much softer but you have to accept that.”