Andreas Mikkelsen says it's a shame he slipped to fourth on the final day of Rallye Deutschland, but adds he was on the limit everywhere as he looked to hold off the Hyundais.
The Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot led at the end of the opening day in his Polo R WRC, but then dropped behind team-mate, Sebastien Ogier on Saturday morning.
He was then reeled in by Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville on Sunday, losing out to the former in SS15, the first test of the day, and the latter in SS16.
With SS17 subsequently cancelled on safety grounds, Mikkelsen went into the final stage just 1.4secs off Neuville, and only 4.1secs off Sordo.
However he lost the brakes in the Power Stage, finishing it having picked up some debris and with his right-rear wheel alight, 6.8secs off P3.
Speaking afterwards, he added the decision to carry two spare tyres - the Hyundais only opted for one spare on Sunday - was probably a mistake.
“The result could have been better with a little more luck,” Mikkelsen summarised after round nine in the 2016 World Rally Championship.
“We went on full attack again on Sunday, since we were competing against two very fast Hyundai in the three-way battle for second place.
“We wanted to give [Volkswagen team boss] Jost [Capito] another rally that was as successful as possible one last time. He will leave the team at the end of August – and we have had an excellent time these past years. Anders [Jaeger] and I have a great deal to thank Jost for.
“So we were definitely going to give it our all once again. Unfortunately, in doing so the brakes overheated and this took me out of the running.
“I think the two spare wheels were hindering me a bit too. It's a shame, but fourth place is a small consolation in view of the championship.”
“Overall I am [still] very pleased with our performance [this weekend],” added the Norwegian, who remains second in the Drivers' Championship, albeit now 59 points off Ogier.
“The entire weekend was dominated by the difficult tyre selection and every service ended with a decision being made at the last second.
“We opted for a totally different strategy on several occasions – this made things interesting, but it wasn't always the right decision.”