Rally of Portugal leader Mikko Hirvonen has criticized the decision by event organizers to cancel Friday afternoon's three stages due to the heavy rain and fog in the area.
Amid claims by officials that there is not likely to be any further cancellations in spite of more bad weather predictions for the rest of the Faro-based event, the Finn believed that the road conditions had not been unduly dangerous.
"Why did we cancel?" he said. "Sure, it would have been difficult, but I would like to have gone and done a couple more stages. It wasn't dangerous for the drivers. It was very, very difficult, but it wasn't dangerous.
"I understand the other side, if it's difficult to get the ambulance or something into the stage, then I understand it. But the road was so difficult and you had to be driving so slowly all of the time that in that way for the drivers it wasn't dangerous."
The weather made for an exceptionally tough morning for the officials of the event, with the field split up when a watersplash became flooded and left half of the field stranded before stage seven. Fuel had to be driven out to those crews in order for them to make it back to the Faro service area.
While the organizers waited for the cars at the back of the field to return, Hirvonen and the leaders were held in service for an hour before the decision was taken to cancel the rest of the day.
Rally of Portugal clerk of the course Pedro Almeida said: "I appreciate his [Hirvonen's] opinion, but if he was involved in an accident and, of course, I hope this isn't the case, but I think he would like to have the ambulances and the doctors near to him as soon as possible. Under these conditions today, it would take very long for them to get there.
"There is a limit, I must have ambulances and doctors in the stage to get to the accident place in a maximum of 10 minutes and under these conditions that would have been impossible – this is why we canceled the stages."
Almeida added that he is confident the storms which have hit the event won't force any more canceled stages.
"We don't estimate so many problems in tomorrow's area," he said. "We sent a crew to check the conditions of the roads and the stages are in a better condition and we are sure everything will be OK.
"It will be slippery on the roads tomorrow, but not so bad as today. Today the roads were down to the bedrock, because don't forget we don't have rain in this area for three months and then today the storm comes. The weather is expected to be the same until Sunday, when the storms will move north through the country."