Video: Haydon Paddon drops one place to finish fifth in Rally Sweden after 'annoying little mistake' in final leg




Hayden Paddon admits the long break before he drives again in the World Rally Championship is a downer following an encouraging fifth place in Sweden.

Kiwi driver Paddon opened his reduced 2018 campaign with a solid four-day showing in the ice and snow of Rally Sweden, although he dropped a spot on the final day.

Placings of eighth, fourth and 10th on the final three stages saw the 30-year-old surpassed by Finland's Esapekka Lappi.

The rally was won by Paddon's Hyundai team-mate Thierry Neuville of Belgium, who assumes the drivers' championship lead after two rounds.

Geraldine driver Paddon missed the opening round in Monte Carlo as he is sharing drives this year with Spaniard Dani Sordo.

The next event for the Kiwi is not until round six, when he contests Rally Portugal in May.

He hinted at frustration that the gains made in Sweden will have to go on hold.

"We know the areas we have to work on to get the car working a little bit better for my style," he sai.d

"Looking forward to Portugal but not looking forward to the three-month gap."

Paddon's total time across 21 stages in Sweden left him just 54 seconds behind Neuville in what was a tightly-fought rally.

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