Sébastien Ogier has congratulated Hayden Paddon for a 'fantastic' Power Stage drive that sealed victory at YPF Rally Argentina and says he has no regrets about his own performance.
Paddon had lost all but 2.6sec of his overnight 29.8sec lead to Ogier by Sunday's final 16km stage, and the Frenchman looked more than capable of overtaking that slim advantage to snatch the win.
Instead, Paddon blitzed the competition in his Hyundai i20, stopping the clock 11.6sec quicker than Ogier to take his first win at WRC level.
After the finish podium ceremony, Ogier explained that despite missing out on victory he remained happy with his event.
"If you look at the global picture of the weekend it is a great achievement for us to be on the podium with 19 points for the Championship and I improved the gap compared to second," he said.
"Considering the conditions we had to face throughout the weekend, we came close to pulling off a major feat in getting so near to the leader.
"We have no regrets. Whatever happened, the objective of the final day wasn't to go all out for victory, but to keep up a good pace without taking any excessive risks. If I had to do it again, I would approach this rally in exactly the same way."
Ogier praised Paddon's speed thought the repeated El Condor, which he described as "the roughest stage I have ever driven."
"In the last one Hayden did an amazing time. He definitely went for it and I didn’t do enough. I had the feeling that my driving was clean but I was not pushing too hard because I was scared to take zero points," he said.
"Well done to them. They have done a great time in the last stage. I have to say that I am a competitor and I don’t like to be second, but it is much easier to accept to be beaten this way. The difference happened behind the steering wheel. They have done it, well done! They deserve it!"