M-Sport World Rally Team man Ott Tanak has retired from day one of Rally Argentina after losing the front-left wheel in SS4 on Friday afternoon.

Tanak, who was looking to bounce back this weekend after his reservoir swim in Mexico last month, went out near the start of the long 51.99km Agua de Oro-Ascochinga 2 test when he hit a rock in a water splash.

"It looks like I might be the unluckiest driver in the championship at the moment," Tanak said back in service. "From a driver point of view I can't see any way of avoiding what happened to us today. We were in first gear going into a water splash. There was a stone in the water and it ripped the wheel off.

"We have to keep working and try to do as well as we can. Of course it's really difficult after what has happened, but sometimes life is hard. You just have to pull yourself together and keep pushing. It's tough sometimes, but you have to do it.

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"You have to do it for yourself, for your team, and for everyone at home who is supporting you all the way."

M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson added: "Ott was having a really steady run with no dramas and good pace which was really working well for him.

"Unfortunately, he was just a little wide into a water splash on the first stage of the afternoon [SS4] and damaged the suspension."

Tanak had been running fourth overall in his Fiesta RS WRC car, 10.5s up on team-mate, Elfyn Evans.

He was the fourth major casualty of the day, joining Volkswagen duo Sebastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen and Hyundai's Hayden Paddon on the sidelines.

The Estonian will now rejoin on Saturday under Rally 2.