Sebastien Loeb has apologised to his home fans for the mistake that cost him the chance to drive before them on his final day in the World Rally Championship.
The Frenchman rolled off the road just under a mile into Sunday's first stage after losing control of his Citroen DS3 WRC in a fast right-hander.
Tens of thousands of spectators had turned out for a passage control in the village of Oberhoffen, where the nine-time champion grew up, and on the stage in Haguenau, where he was born.
"I am not happy, but I'm not playing for the championship, I don't need some points," Loeb said. "I am more sorry for the spectators and the team. There were a lot of spectators who were waiting for me and I'm not going through."
Loeb is being driven through the second run of the Haguenau test in an open top car so he can show his appreciation for the support he has received from his home area of Alsace.
Talking about the crash, Loeb said: "I started flat out. In our situation we were fighting for the victory and it didn't go as I planed.
"I lost the rear, we had a spin and we ended in a ditch. For sure, I would have preferred to finish on the podium on this rally."