M-Sport team boss Malcolm Wilson has urged his lead driver Mads Ostberg not to be downcast despite seeing Sebastien Ogier pull away in the Rally Mexico lead.
Ostberg led the event for two stages and posted fastest times on four to bring his Fiesta RS WRC home 33 seconds adrift of Ogier's Volkswagen.
Wilson insisted Ostberg had over-achieved on Friday.
"Mads has been incredible," said Wilson, "this is way more than I expected from him. We came to this event hoping we could be fighting for a podium place and look at what he's achieved. He's sitting here with his head down because he's not leading the event and that's a pretty incredible position to be in."
Ostberg admitted he was frustrated at losing time in the high-speed sections of the Cubilete and El Chocolate stages, but was pleased to at least be "best of the rest" after Ogier.
"We're only losing to him," said Ostberg, "we're ahead of the rest, which is pretty good. But Ogier certainly understands what he's doing around here."
Wilson added that on Ogier's current form there was no shame in being slightly off the VW's pace.
"Mads is right, he is ahead of the rest and the guy that he's losing to is the same guy who was beating Sebastien Loeb in the same car a couple of years ago, and he just dominated Rally Sweden, something Loeb never did," said Wilson.