Hayden Paddon has recounted his crash in Finland this morning, saying "motorsport can be cruel" after his return to the WRC ended before it had even begun.
Paddon was set to race for M-Sport Ford in this weekend's Rally Finland after failing to pick up a full-time contract for this year's WRC but the opportunity came undone in a practice run when Paddon's vehicle was left damaged beyond repair from a high speed crash.
The Kiwi driver took to social media after the crash to describe the incident, saying while the test run started well it ended the complete opposite.
"The Fiesta WRC car was feeling great and pleasantly surprised how quickly we were able to get to grips with it," Paddon said.
"However a rock in the middle of a 6th gear corner lifted the front of the car off line and the rest is history at that speed on a narrow section of stage.
"John and I are both ok and thank you for everyone’s messages. Incredibly sorry for the team and everyone back home in NZ who made this event possible. With the damage we will be unable to start the event."
Paddon told 1 NEWS last week before travelling to Europe he was ready to fight for his place in the WRC but this morning's events have forced him to take a new perspective.
"Where to next... who knows. But it’s great to have the support of M-Sport at present. Motor sport can be cruel, but it is these highs and lows that makes us stronger and keeps bringing us back - fans and competitors alike."
M-Sport said they had looked at bringing out a replacement car for Paddon but there wasn't enough time before Thursday's start. The racing team has also absolved Paddon of any fault in the incident.