Latvala: WRC running orders reduce impact of early season mistakes

Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala insists he can afford mistakes in the first part of the 2015 World Rally Championship, despite the 34-point gap between him and championship-leading team-mate Sebastien Ogier

Latvala: WRC running orders reduce impact of early season mistakes


Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala insists he can afford mistakes in the first part of the 2015 World Rally Championship, despite the 34-point gap between him and championship-leading team-mate Sebastien Ogier.

While Ogier scored his second win of the season in Sweden this month, Latvala slid off the road and took no points from the WRC's winter event.

He is now 11 points adrift of Thierry Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen, who are joint second to Ogier - both 23 off the front.

But Latvala believes the 2015 running order regulations - under which the championship leader must run first on the road for the opening two days of each rally - made mistakes in the first half of the year less likely to impact on the title race than later errors.

"Last year I went with the lead [in the championship] to Mexico and I didn't win the title," Latvala told AUTOSPORT.

"So, hopefully, when I go to Mexico without the lead then I will win [the title]!

"For the gravel rallies now we have Mexico, Argentina, Portugal, Sardinia, where you benefit from the position on the road.

"For me, when we get to Poland then you have to be close to the top fight because after that we have the tarmac rallies coming and gravel events which don't clean so much - then it will get more difficult.

"Basically, you can do mistakes in the first half of the year, but not in the second half."

Ogier admitted he felt able to risk everything to win in Sweden, as a mistake would leave him in a more favourable position further down the start order in Mexico.

But he still felt his win was the ideal result and put all the pressure on Latvala for Mexico.

"Jari-Matti is the one under pressure already because he is not allowed to do a mistake [in Mexico] or he is too far away [in the championship]," Ogier told AUTOSPORT.

"I took a good psychological advantage in Sweden."

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