Sebastien Loeb believes it is Sebastien Ogier and Volkswagen's raw pace that has put them in the Rally Sweden lead, not an advantageous road position.
Citroen driver Loeb, who trails rally leader Ogier by 10 seconds, is 10th on the road, while the Volkswagen star is seven places further behind.
With snow falling steadily through the morning, it was felt that the road would become quicker as early starters cleared the way. But Loeb does not believe his road position is hindering him relative to Ogier.
"I don't think this makes any difference – he is just fastest," said Loeb. "We will see more on the second loop this afternoon, but I think it's almost the same for us.
"I feel happy with the morning. In a lot of places I have felt really comfortable with the car, but there are still a few places where I am a little bit more nervous and a bit more cautious."
Ogier admitted he was delighted with the start to the event.
"I like the road here," said the Frenchman, "the stages are really good fun. We had no problems this morning, just driving how I like. The road is OK; sometimes there is more snow, but everything is well."
Ogier reported a slow gear shift on the second stage this morning, but the team has been unable to trace any problem with the Polo R WRC's transmission.