Sebastien Ogier put a brave face on his late retirement from the lead of Rally Mexico, and is confident it will not be too great a blow to his title chances.
The Citroen driver was battling to hold off his seven-time champion teammate Sebastien Loeb after a weekend-long battle at the front of the field when he went off the road and broke his suspension three stages from the end of the rally.
"I went a bit wide at the end of a corner, approximately at mid-stage, and I went off in the ditch and there was a rock," Ogier explained. "Some things were broken. It was not a big impact but I had to stop and it was impossible to fix it in the stage."
The Frenchman said he accepted that such an incident was always a possibility when going flat-out in a battle like the one he and Loeb had been enjoying in Mexico.
"For sure at this moment we pushed very, very hard," said Ogier. "We had a very good rhythm, the feeling was very good in the car, but it's always like this - just one mistake and it's finished, that's the law in rallying."
Ogier had finished ahead of Loeb in fourth in Sweden last month, but retiring from Mexico has put him back to sixth in the world championship, 31 points behind Ford's Mikko Hirvonen, who heads the standings after two rounds.
With Citroen adamant that it will give both its drivers equal chance to chase this year's title, Ogier is still optimistic that he can bounce back from this weekend's disappointment.
"For sure I lost good points this weekend, but the season is still long," he said. "Now we're going to have a very good starting position for the next gravel event. So it's not finished. It's just the start of the season and we know that we have the speed, and now we have to finish the rallies and get the points."