Sebastien Ogier says his consistent approach to Rally Poland paid dividends last weekend, despite Thierry Neuville slashing his advantage at the top of the WRC points table.
The Frenchman remains 11 points in the lead of the standings with five rallies to go after taking a third-place finish in Mikolajki, behind Hyundai duo Neuville and Hayden Paddon.
Ultimately, Ogier was ruled out of the fight for first by two punctures, a spin and an alternator issue. He added, however, that the rutted nature of the roads didn’t lend themselves to his style of driving.
“It was a difficult rally for us, [but] still the overall assessment is good and we’ve saved as many points as we could," said the M-Sport Ford driver.
"First of all, weather conditions were not easy. I have never been a kamikaze behind the wheel. I have always trusted in my feeling above all else and I tend not to force things if I feel I’m not 100 percent in control.
"It was the case on those ploughed-up and super-slippery roads, and at times I didn’t dare take those additional risks to have the optimum speed.
“The final result proves that it wasn't a bad decision. Our regularity during the weekend offered us an important result since we have a top-three finish and some big points.
"Taking more risks wouldn’t have been enough to get the win anyway, partly because of the handicap of opening the road the first day on those super-muddy roads and also considering a certain amount of bad luck and all those little issues we faced."
Tanak apologises to fans for error
While Ogier was unable to compete for victory in Poland, his M-Sport teammate Ott Tanak was in the thick of the fight, and was leading when he crashed out on the final day of last weekend's event.
“What can I say?” said Tanak. “Obviously it’s really disappointing to have finished the rally like this and I am just so sorry for the team and all of the fans who came here to support us.
“We touched the bank with the rear of the car and that pulled the front into a spin and into the trees. There was too much damage to continue, and that is where our Rally Poland came to an end.
“It was one of those things, and we’ll be back stronger. This one wasn’t to be, but we know that we have the performance and now it’s all focus on Finland.”