WRC Monte Carlo Rally: Latvala apologises for hitting spectator

Volkswagen World Rally Championship driver Jari-Matti Latvala has apologised for hitting a spectator during a Monte Carlo Rally incident on Saturday

WRC Monte Carlo Rally: Latvala apologises for hitting spectator

Latvala had to retire from the 2016 WRC opener after damaging his VW went he went off the road on SS11.

Video from the scene revealed that as he tried to rejoin via a field following his trip through a ditch, Latvala struck a spectator.

Saturday round-up: Retirements give Ogier big lead

A VW statement said there was no indication that the fan, who was knocked to the ground, had sustained any injuries.

"I would first like to stress that I am very sorry about what happened today," said Latvala, who had been running third when he crashed.

"We came off the very slippery road after a right turn, skidded into a ditch and came out in a field.

"My visibility was hampered briefly by thick steam from the engine and mud that had sprayed up from the ditch.

"I saw a spectator jump to the side and drove slowly back to the road.

"The team contacted me after the stage and informed me that I had touched a spectator.

"As I said, I am very sorry about the whole incident."

VW motorsport director Jost Capito said the team had alerted the unaware Latvala as soon as it learned the spectator had been hit.

"As soon as we heard the news, we contacted the crew as quickly as possible and started to look into what might have caused the incident," he said.

"We very much regret what happened."

Latvala's team-mates Sebastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen go into the final day of the rally running first and second.

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Jari-Matti Latvala gets suspended WRC ban after hitting spectator

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