Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier says it was his own fault he crashed out of Spain's RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada.
Ogier looked to have his eighth victory of the season sown-up and with a 54-second advantage at the end of Saturday, was able to pace himself through Sunday's final leg.
However, disaster struck in the last stage, and while pushing for the Power Stage win, he crashed out 8.3 kilometres into the test, knocking a wheel off his Polo R WRC.
“I was too fast in a long left-hander and went a little too wide on the exit,” explained the three-time World Rally Champion.
“We made contact with the crash barrier, which knocked us slightly off line and the wheel caught on a post holding the crash barriers. That ripped the wheel off – and it was all over,” he added.
“We went to hospital for a thorough check – just to be certain. Happily everything is okay. Unfortunately this mistake cost us the win."
It was his first retirement of the season, but despite the disappointment, Ogier insisted he was “pleased” to see team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen break his duck.
“I am very pleased for Andreas and Ola [Floene – his co-driver], who fully deserve their first win in the World Rally Championship,” concluded the Frenchman.