Jari-Matti Latvala says he cannot believe what happened on the final stage of Rally Poland when he went off and hit a tree.

Latvala was pushing to try and secure the final place on the podium, having started the test just 1.1 seconds behind Ott Tanak. However, the Finn skidded off with a few kilometres to go.

He was able to continue, but had damaged the radiator on his Volkswagen Polo R WRC and then had to stop and make repairs on the road section, eventually dropping to fifth overall after picking up a 40-second penalty for checking in late.

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"[I] couldn't believe that!" Latvala wrote on his official Facebook page. "I knew that I would have to go flat out to have a chance to win this fight for the podium but we went off in the last kilometre of the power stage."

Meanwhile, speaking at the finish, he thanked his mechanics for repairing his car so he could at least salvage fifth.

"I was pushing to the absolute maximum as I tried desperately to make it onto the podium," he continued. "Unfortunately it was not to be. The crash on the Power Stage meant I dropped back into fifth place. Fortunately the Polo is a sturdy car and, in the end, we were grateful to our mechanics, whose energetic display kept us in the race. Without their efforts, we would not have made it to the finish [ramp]."

Meanwhile, Latvala conceded he did not have the pace to match team-mates Sebastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen in Poland and he is now hoping for better on home soil in Finland at the end of this month.

"Compliments to my team-mates Sebastien and Andreas [who finished 1-2]. I was not able to match their pace this weekend. Next up though is Rally Finland - my personal highlight of the year.

"I would obviously like to get back on the podium at my home race. That is what I will be working toward," he concluded.