Citroen driver Dani Sordo has defended himself in the face of strong criticism from his team principal Olivier Quesnel following the Spaniard's loss of third place on Rally Sweden.
Sordo dropped one minute in the day's final long stage after his co-driver Marc Marti forgot to remove the shields on the car's air intake. The car overheated, forcing Sordo to stop three miles into the Fredriksberg test to remove the parts. A furious Quesnel labeled the mistake as "stupid," but Sordo said the fault lay with Marti, not him.
"When we leave, Marc puts the part in place and puts something in the dashboard to tell me they are there, then we take them out before the stage," said Sordo. "This time, I see the engine temperature going up and I ask him: 'Did you take them out?' He said no, so I had to stop. How can this happen? We are a professional team and he is a professional co-driver; it's a stupid mistake.
"I have been fighting for seconds with two Finns and Sebastien [Loeb] in Sweden, pushing really hard and doing everything I can and now this. We fight for seconds and then we have to stop and give away one minute.
"It hurts and it's stupid. I don't understand how it can happen. I understand that I can make the mistake as the driver and that co-drivers can make the mistake with the notes, but this is something different. This is not normal."
After ending day one just 10 seconds off the lead in third place, Sordo will start the final day fourth, 1m46s behind leader Mikko Hirvonen.