Ford team director Malcolm Wilson has admitted he is disappointed with the opening day of Rally Mexico, where Citroens hold the top four positions.
Wilson pointed to Ford team leader Mikko Hirvonen's position first on the road as the principle reason for the Rally Sweden winner's lack of pace through Friday's nine stages; the Finn lies sixth overall and 90 seconds off the lead. Asked if he was surprised at Hirvonen's times, Wilson replied: "Yes, the time he lost was more than we had anticipated. I think the only thing is, we don't know how much running first on the road has really affected Mikko. We know he's really disappointed with his performance. But how much he's been affected, we don't know. We'll see tomorrow."
Conversely, Citroen team principal Olivier Quesnel was delighted with his squad's performance, while also being slightly confused by Ford's situation.
"We don't understand [what happened to Ford]," said Quesnel. "At the beginning we thought they did it on purpose, but clearly they didn't. Maybe they have the wrong setup. I don't know. Maybe Mikko is not so well as he should be. I don't know. Anyway, Seb [Loeb] is very well and he has driven a good day."
Quesnel added that Hirvonen remained a threat, saying: "He will be not too bad on the road and he can come back very quickly. Tomorrow we can be surprised."