Sebastien Ogier says he extracted the maximum from Rally Mexico as he extended his lead in the World Rally Championship with second place and a maximum of three bonus point by winning the Power stage.
The three-time defending WRC champion felt he was always fighting on the back foot due to his challenging road position as the French driver acted as sweeper on the gravel stages for the rest of the field.
Despite the perceived disadvantage Ogier fought back to act as team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala's sole contender in the closing stages for victory but was unable to bridge the time gap and was forced to settle for second place.
It was the first time Ogier had dropped points in 2016, having won both Rallye Monte Carlo and Rally Sweden plus victories on each corresponding Power stages, but the Volkswagen Motorsport driver says it was the maximum he could achieve on his 100th WRC start.
“All in all, second place for Julien and I was the best-possible result this weekend,” Ogier said. “Thanks to victory on the Power Stage, we picked up 21 important points in the championship standings, which is what counts overall.
“Naturally, I would have hoped to stage a more exciting duel with Jari-Matti for the many fans. But there was no way that was possible; our road conditions on the first two days were far too different. That's not taking anything away from his performance, Jari-Matti thoroughly deserved the win and my congrats go to him and Miikka.
“I'd like to say a special thanks to the thousands of fans here in Mexico: For Julien and I, it is a highlight to come here every year. The enthusiasm and friendliness of the people is fantastic, and on top of that the stages we drive through are beautiful.”
After Dani Sordo's post-event penalty which demoted him to fourth and promoted Mads Ostberg on to the podium, Ogier's WRC drivers' standing lead stands at 35 points after three rallies.