M-Sport's Eric Camilli says it was his own fault he went out in the very first stage of Rallye Deutschland.
Camilli went off near the end of the 22 km Mittelmosel 1 test, when he misjudged a fast corner and beached his Fiesta RS WRC car on a pile of logs.
He was unable to continue, but with the car suffering only minimal damage, he will now re-join on Saturday under Rally 2.
“The conditions were very tricky, but that is not an excuse, it was my fault,” Camilli said. “I didn't expect the conditions to be as challenging as they were and I didn't set-up my car correctly. Straight away I knew that we were far too stiff so we took it very, very carefully.
“We had a few moments which seemed to come from nothing and I was very scared of going off the road. Then, in a cut, we went straight on and became stuck on a log pile.
“I'm so sorry for all the guys in the team. This was the first stage on tarmac and it did not go the way we wanted it to. But it has happened, and we need to pick ourselves up and continue working until the end of the season.”
M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson reckoned the Frenchman had probably put too much pressure on himself, given he has more experience of competing on asphalt, and given his form in Germany in 2014 and 2015 (when he finished second in WRC2).
“As you can imagine, we're all disappointed that Eric wasn't able to make it through the first stage this morning,” Wilson added.
“This was the event where he had the most experience, and the one that he was really looking forward to. Maybe he put himself under a little bit too much pressure.
"The consolation is that there was no damage to the car and he will continue tomorrow to regain his confidence as well as the vital experience he needs.”