Former F1 driver Robert Kubica will re-start on Rally Italia Sardegna on Sunday under Rally 2 and despite taking the front-right wheel off in SS12, insists he is 'heading in the right direction'.

Kubica had been running in a comfortable fifth, until the penultimate test of the day, the repeat-run through 19.27 km Monte Olia stage. He had almost completed it too, when just a kilometre from the finish he hit a rock, which he later revealed was hidden in the undergrowth.

He will now continue on Sunday in eighth in his M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC and while he is almost six minutes off Henning Solberg in seventh, he at least remains on for some points.

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"It was a short, quick turn. I kept my car close to the inside since the road was narrow," he explained. "Unfortunately somewhere in the bushes was hidden a big rock. We hit it and the wheel came off.

"It's a shame because up until that moment I was driving steadily and showing some good pace without taking any risks. We had no big moments at all."

"These things happen though and we need to remember that there are still a lot of positives to take from the last two days," he continued. "Our times and my driving through some of the stages show that I am heading in right direction. We will continue tomorrow. It's important for the mileage and besides I think the best thing to do in such situations is to get back in the car and drive again."

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson added: "I've not had chance to speak with Robert personally, but from what I understand he was caught out on SS12 - clipping a rock which damaged the front-right wheel.

"As we have seen, this is a very difficult event and up until that point he was having a really good day.

"He's certainly heading in the right direction and most importantly he will be back under Rally 2 regulations tomorrow."