Evgeny Novikov was philosophical after narrowly missing out on a podium finish on Rally Argentina.

Novikov went into the final day of the fifth round in the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship just 8.5 seconds up on Jari-Matti Latvala, but despite a valiant effort, the young Russian unfortunately had to forfeit his third place on the penultimate test.

He then suffered a spin in the event ending Power Stage, and finished more than 30 seconds back in fourth.

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"To be honest, I think that it was all over after the third stage today [SS13]," explained the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team man.

"We were pushing hard, but Jari-Matti took a lot of time out of us and we understood then that we should let the podium go and concentrate on getting to the end of the event.

"I actually backed off in the Power Stage [SS14] and maybe because of that I lost a bit of concentration and had a spin in the stage - not because we were pushing; because I slowed down too much. But it was never our plan to fight on that stage so it wasn't too much of a drama.

"Of course it would have been nice to have come away with a podium, but fourth place is still a very good result for us on this rally. I think it was the best we could do today. I want to thank Jari-Matti for the fight - I really enjoyed it and I'm sure everybody else did too!"