Jari-Matti Latvala says his pointless start to the 2016 World Rally Championship after two rounds is a 'bitter pill to swallow' and feels luck hasn't been on his side this season.
After crashing out of the season-opening Rallye Monte Carlo last month, the Volkswagen Motorsport driver suffered draftshaft problems on Friday morning before a broken suspension unit took him out of contention. Despite continuing in Rally 2 regulations the Finnish driver failed to profit on the Power stage due to his poor starting slot and left Sweden empty-handed.
As a result, last year's WRC runner-up to champion Sebastien Ogier is yet to make a mark on the 2016 drivers' standings after two events while his French team-mate has enjoyed the perfect start with two wins and two Power stage victories to take a 100% record to Rally Mexico next month.
With an already sizeable 56-point deficit to make up Latvala says he leaves Sweden thoroughly deflated considering his strong feeling in the Volkswagen Polo R WRC machine but wants to focus on the positives.
“My second home rally, the Rally Sweden, didn't go at all according to plan,” Latvala said. “It is always a bitter pill to swallow when a competition is over so early from a sporting perspective.
“It is also important to reflect on the positive aspects of the weekend. The car felt fantastic, we were totally competitive and we proved that with best times on some stages. Unfortunately, I had to take to the track first on the closing power stage, which meant that I wasn't really in with a chance of picking up any points.”
Planning his comeback at Rally Mexico, an event he's never won in WRC, he is hoping to make the most a strong starting position and hopes luck is with him in central America.
“We have a good starting position for the next event in Mexico, and we have to make use of it,” he said. “Hopefully the conditions will be on our side, and I wouldn't be averse to a little more luck than in the first two events of the season.“