Jari-Matti Latvala says new mental approach key to WRC success
|By David Evans||Thursday, May 15th 2014, 13:52 GMT|
Jari-Matti Latvala says last week's Rally Argentina win has underlined the importance of his new psychological approach to his World Rally Championship title bid.
The South American event was the first time Latvala has beaten Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier in an outright race to the finish.
"This was the first time I beat Seb like this," Latvala said. "It means a lot to do this.
"If I hadn't won, if it had gone wrong for me, then the championship would have been very, very bad."
Latvala praised the efforts of his new psychological coach Christoph Treier, who provided the Finn with what he feels is a new-found mental strength.
"Christoph has helped me to find the missing pieces," said Latvala. "He has helped me to manage the emotions.
"When you used to watch [Sebastien] Loeb, he was so cool on the rally, he always kept everything inside and never let it affect his driving.
"For me, sometimes I would get into the lead and then I would get nervous, I would get excited and then make a mistake.
"I feel different when I am in the car, I feel stronger that I can control my mind now. I'm not letting the emotions come so easily."
Latvala says he is determined to find the kind of consistency needed to further close the 24-point gap between him and Ogier.
"Before, I have been winning rallies: one win here, one win there," he said.
"Sometimes winning when somebody has had a problem, but not many wins like this.
"Or I have the situation where I have one good event, one accident, one good event, one accident.
"Now I want to lift that curve."