23 August 2015
WRC Rallye Deutschland: Ogier simply too good, says Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala: Seb's performance both times at Panzerplatte was really incredible. Normally, Panzerplatte has been a very good stage for me, but this year I didn't get the feeling.
Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala says team-mate Sebastien Ogier deserved to win Rallye Deutschland – and that the Frenchman's performance on Saturday on the two-runs through Panzerplatte was “really incredible”.
Latvala pushed Ogier hard on Friday morning – leading by 0.1s going into the mid-day service - and he remained in touch in the afternoon, despite slipping to second. However, on the day two the Finn conceded 6.8s in Panzerplatte Long 1 and then a massive 15.3s on the repeat. It left him more than 30 seconds behind going into the final leg and meant he had to settle for the runners-up spot.
“To be honest, Seb's performance both times at Panzerplatte was really incredible. Normally, Panzerplatte has been a very good stage for me, but this year I didn't get the feeling,” Latvala explained. “I didn't get the confidence to do the braking until the apex of the corners and then use the whole width of the road that you have. Second time through I realised then that there is no chance [to win].
“I knew from the beginning of the weekend that what I did here last year [crashing out on the final day while leading], and in 2013 [again crashing while leading], I can't afford a mistake anymore. I think I tried to be in the comfort zone all the time and keep the control in the driving. Of course, we had that moment on the Power Stage, but we didn't do any mistakes over the week, and that was the target, to have a solid, good performance and I am happy with that.”
“It is a great day for Volkswagen and a one-two-three is obviously the right way to bounce back from the results of the past two years,” Latvala added.
“Everyone coped well with the pressure and worked hard to make this success possible. They all deserve a huge compliment from my side.
“Personally, [as I said] I am very happy with my second place. After all, it is still an asphalt rally, which means it is not exactly a Finn's favourite surface.
“I would obviously have liked to have repeated my success from Finland, but Seb was simply too good this weekend. You just have to acknowledge that.”
Meanwhile, Latvala admitted that his scare en-route to winning the Power Stage - the final test - was something that should not have happened.
“Somebody needs to keep the show going on!” he joked, when asked about it. “To be honest though, it was something that shouldn't have happened, but it did happen. We were a little bit lucky. It was only a little slice with the concrete. The target when I went out there in the stage… Last year, I crashed on this stage. I wanted to keep the focus on, I wanted to do a good run and I wanted to have good memories from this stage, so the idea was to go with a good rhythm.
“The rhythm was really, really good. There was just this one left-hand corner. I had in my notes that there was a line, I followed the line, but there was some big gravel that got under the car and it moved the position of the car, it surprised me and we ran wide. It is one of those things...
"It's part of the game.”
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