Jari-Matti Latvala denies his New Zealand running order choice was a mistake
|By David Evans and Matt Beer||Friday, June 22nd 2012, 01:54 GMT|
Jari-Matti Latvala thinks it is too simplistic to say that Ford got its running order tactics wrong on day one in New Zealand, despite the two works Citroens pulling away from him on the opening loop.
While Citroen's Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen and Ford's second driver Petter Solberg anticipated rain and opted for early positions in the leg one start order, Latvala chose to run at the tail of the pack.
The Ford driver led after stage one, but lost ground on the following stages where there were more wet sections. By the lunchtime service, Latvala was 16 seconds off the lead in third.
He insisted it was too soon to say if his running order decision had been a mistake, as he suspected the positions could all change again amid the uncertain weather.
"You can't say I got the running order wrong until we get back to Auckland tonight," said Latvala. "On these roads you can get quite a lot of ruts, and it could be quite difficult and it could clean. A lot depends on the weather and this is always changing."
But he acknowledged that his driving had not been as good as he wanted in the morning, regardless of his road position and the stage surfaces.
"For this morning it's fair to say my pace wasn't perfect," Latvala admitted.