Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala says the conditions on the morning loop of Rally Sweden were the worst he has ever driven in snow.
The Ford-driving Finn spun his Fiesta RS WRC on the last stage before service, wiping the front and rear aero off the car. He is fourth, but more than a minute down on rally leader Mads Ostberg.
"These are the worst conditions I have driven in in the snow, definitely," said Latvala. "We have 10-15 centimeters of fresh snow on the top of the road, which is making it really, really demanding to drive in. The situation is similar to aquaplaning, you have to prepare for the brakes very early.
"I spun in a really fast section, it was a left over the crest. I touched the bank and the car immediately started to go, I spun for more than 360 degrees. There was snow everywhere, I had to stop, wait, [see] where is the road? We lost time."
Latvala had also lost time on the preceding stages as he struggled for visibility.
"The wind was blowing a lot of the snow from the trees – it was terrible. I totally couldn't see where I was going," he said.
Running one place ahead of Latvala on the road, Sebastien Loeb was hoping for a better run through the afternoon.
"I think I will lose time," said Loeb, "I just hope it's less than this morning. The problem is the snow that came after the plow, you can't turn, you can't brake, there's no grip. We know when the conditions are like this it is worse than when we have the gravel coming through.
"It happened to me one time in the past, when I was slower with the Xsara than the Group N cars, this is the same story."