Sebastien Ogier has sought to clarify comments he made after Vodafone Rally de Portugal which suggested he felt the best man did not win.
Ogier finished second to his Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, but climbed onto the roof of his Polo R at the end of Sunday's final stage in celebration anyway.
Interviewed at the stage end he said: "I know that it's a happy day for many people, because it looks like it's boring when it's always the best which is winning. So, this weekend it's not the best winning - but it's still a fantastic rally for me."
Later that afternoon, however, Ogier denied his comments were meant to belittle Latvala's achievement.
"You heard from me some frustration - especially right in the moment when I was still very hot," he said. "I always have a problem to control my frustration. I'm like that. I always say what I think.
"At the end of the stage I said that it was frustrating that the best driver this weekend was not winning. I said that, but I need also to say it's not Jari's fault that he had an advantage.
"That's the rules, it's like that, and he did the job he had to do - and did it very well. Especially today he drove as fast as he could to keep me behind - so congratulations to him and Miikka. I need to say that."
As championship leader, Ogier's early start position on the first two days meant he swept the roads of loose gravel, while Latvala benefitted from a cleaner line further down the order.