Paddon retains team support

Hayden Paddon believes he retains the backing of his Hyundai Motorsport team after crashing out of the lead of last weekend’s Rally Italia Sardegna.

He became the latest driver to throw away a potential rally-winning lead in this most unpredictable of WRC seasons when his i20 swiped a bank on Saturday while almost 10sec clear of eventual winner Ott Tänak.

He joins Tänak, Thierry Neuville and Kris Meeke in crashing while on target to win, but the New Zealander has faith in his ability to turn round what has been a disappointing season.

“I’m frustrated but also very sorry for the team. I can kick myself all I want but at the end of the day the guys deserved a good result and it would have been good points for the team,” he said.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t to be so we have to work even harder and make sure we can make up for this on the next rally.

“Things haven’t been going our way this year but that's how it goes sometimes. We have to make sure we can climb out of this. The team has still got confidence in me and it gives me confidence to keep pushing on.”

Paddon lies eighth in the championship after a troubled campaign. But he stuck to a rigid plan to benefit from cleaner road conditions in Italy and headed the seventh round of the season from Friday morning before his accident.

His woes were compounded when he returned to action on Sunday morning under Rally 2 rules but retired again after crashing heavily into a stone wall in the penultimate speed test. Neither he nor co-driver Seb Marshall were hurt.

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