Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier has said he had to push himself right to the limit to win Rally Italia Sardegna.

Ogier eventually took the spoils by over a minute, but like in Argentina last month he enjoyed a great duel with team-mate and chief championship rival, Jari-Matti Latvala, only getting ahead in the final test on Saturday, when the Finn made a mistake and had to stop a change a damaged wheel.

"I am overjoyed!" said Ogier, after his fourth win of the season and the 20th of his WRC career. "This win was definitely one of the toughest of my career.

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"Right from day one, Julien [Ingrassia - my co-driver] and I have pushed ourselves to the very limit here in Sardinia," added the 2013 WRC Champion, who lost out initially on Friday as he had to run first in the order.

"In this heat, and with the extremely slippery conditions on the roads, we had to risk everything to put Jari-Matti and Miikka [Anttila - his co-driver] under pressure. It ultimately paid off though, and we won."

Ogier will now go to Rally Poland at the end of the month with a 33-point lead in the Drivers' Championship, but despite that cushion, with seven of the 13 rounds still to go, he knows there is still a lot of rallying left.

"We may lead the World Championship at the halfway point in the season, but that is no reason to relax: Jari-Matti is on top form at the moment," Ogier continued.

"We also have an eye on the others. Mads Ostberg was impressive [here], and congratulations to [Volkswagen Motorsport II driver] Andreas Mikkelsen for his win on the Power Stage [too]!"

Volkswagen motorsport director Jost Capito meanwhile was delighted with result, which sees the manufacturer extend its winning run to ten in succession.

"Respect to the entire team, and congratulations to Sebastien and Julien. They not only repeated last year's victory here in Italy, but also ensured that Volkswagen will lead all three competitions in the World Rally Championship at the halfway point of the season. Behind this success lies a lot of hard work put in by the entire team on-site, in Wolfsburg and in Hannover," Capito noted.

"I would also like to pay a big compliment to Jari-Matti and Miikka [who eventually finished third]. They led the rally for a long time and were involved in a spectacular duel with Sebastien Ogier. Unfortunately a skid brought that battle to a premature end. However, I am sure there is more of that to come over the rest of the season.

"Andreas and Ola [Floene - his co-driver] produced an outstanding display [as well to take fourth] and prove that they belong among the best in the world.

"We will continue to work hard now to ensure that the Polo R WRC and our drivers remain the ones to beat," Capito concluded.