Hyundai's Hayden Paddon says it was his own fault he crashed out of Rally Italia Sardegna, describing his exit as a “silly mistake”.
Paddon, who took that superb debut WRC win in Argentina back in April, had been hoping to get back on the podium in Sardinia, to replicate what he managed twelve months ago and to also put behind him his fiery exit from Portugal last month. However after losing time this morning on the opening loop when he clipped a wall in SS4, he then had to park it for good in SS7, after going 'off' the road near the end of the test.
“There are no words to truly convey our disappointment with today,” Paddon said. “It's been another one to forget and I can only say that I'm sorry to the team - it was a silly mistake.
“We didn't have a good morning loop and were frustrated that we lost a lot of time through a spin, and subsequent contact with a wall that damaged our rear suspension arm. We were hoping to get things back on track this afternoon but we had an off at the end of SS7 which meant our day was over.”
“We were going at a good speed, but just got caught out by doing too wide on the tarmac for the last left-hand corner of the test,” he added.
“We got sucked into the gravel and couldn't turn the car in and then we were a passenger from there.”
It has since been confirmed he will not
be able to re-start on Saturday under Rally 2 as his new generation i20 WRC was too badly damaged when it rolled down the slope at the end of Tula 2.
“It's a very hard pill to swallow to have two rallies in a row end like this from very silly mistakes,” Paddon continued.
“Okay, I'm sure we'll come back stronger and we'll sit down and go through things substantially to learn from this and to be stronger in the future, but this is not what I expect of myself and we need to be better; we will make sure we come back stronger.”
Hyundai team boss, Michel Nandan added: “It was another disappointing retirement for Hayden [coming after what happened in Portugal].
“He is quick to acknowledge what happened and we appreciate his honesty; this is rallying and these things happen.”