Citroen team principal Olivier Quesnel has praised Ford's Mikko Hirvonen in the wake of the Finn's Rally Sweden victory yesterday.
Quesnel admitted his driver Sebastien Loeb had no answer to Hirvonen's pace on the opening round of the World Rally Championship.
"Mikko has been the better driver and he deserves this," said Quesnel. "We pushed a lot on Sunday morning but when we could see after 20km we made only a small amount of time [back on Hirvonen] and we understood it would not be enough to catch, so we decided the best way would be to stay where we are.
"But anyway, this is the beginning of the season and for the last many years there has been only one non-Scandinavian who has won and that is Seb [in 2004] and then he had good fortune. We can't win all the time, everywhere. We try, we push, but Mikko was better than us. What can I say?"
The WRC now switches to gravel for the second round in Mexico, where Loeb hasn't been beaten for the last three Rally Mexicos.