Hyundai boss Michel Nandan says third driver Hayden Paddon has proved he is a "real star of the future" after his "exceptional" performance on Rally Italia Sardegna.

Paddon made the most of his road position and led for 15 stages until he hit trouble on Saturday afternoon.

He eventually finished second, with team-mate Thierry Neuville coming home third in the 'lead' #7 Hyundai i20 WRC.

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"What a weekend! We have experienced the full range of highs and lows but we leave Rally Italia Sardegna with a truly amazing double podium," Nandan said. "Hayden has performed exceptionally this weekend and he has shown why he is a real star of the future in World Rally.

"He acquitted himself professionally and calmly - even in the face of issues - and he thoroughly deserves second place. It is particularly fitting on his one-year anniversary as a Hyundai Motorsport WRC driver.

"Thierry, too, had a positive end to a tricky rally and it's great to see him score another podium, which adds valuable manufacturer points to our total."

Meanwhile, Dani Sordo finished 20th under Rally 2 in the #8 i20 WRC, retiring in the final stage on Friday when he knocked off a wheel - while running in fourth - and then going out again on Saturday when he suffered a fuel leak on the first loop.

"Unfortunately, Dani wasn't able to translate his clear pace into a similarly positive result," Nandan continued, "but he'll be back in Poland.

"All in all, this has been a hard rally but one which we have tackled in a very mature way. The team performed admirably and worked so hard to ensure we got all cars to Sunday's final stages. It's this work ethic that makes these results even more special."