Paddon: It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry
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Rally driver Hayden Paddon is clinging to the positives after arguably his most frustrating rally in a disappointing season so far.
The New Zealander led WRC Italy in Sardinia last weekend for a long period before two errors resulted in crashes that saw him walk away with nothing to show for his speed.
"It has got to a point where you don't want to cry, you almost have to laugh sometimes," Paddon told Radio Sport.
"Things were looking good for the best part of half the rally. We were on top of the car, we were setting a good comfortable pace then we had some very minor mistakes and quite harsh consequences.
"But this hasn't knocked my confidence at all to get back in the car and to drive quickly."
Paddon struggled to adapt to the 2017-spec Hyundai early in the season. But the 30-year-old made a significant set-up change before WRC Portugal and that resulted in stage wins and good speed despite an electrical problem forcing him out. Throw in the speed at Sardinia and he is optimistic good results are not far away.
"I'm not too worried about this at all moving forward," he said. "The last two rallies have been a really big step forwards. Things are feeling normal, more natural. I feel like my old self again.
"You have to put things in context. With the way things have shaped up for us this year it looks really bad but you have to remember we have only had three accidents and one of them, in Argentina, I hardly call an accident. It was pretty unavoidable.
"A lot of the other things that have been going on around the outside have been some technical issues or other things and the team are the first to put up their hand and say that it isn't just me that hasn't been doing it quite right this year, it is a whole team thing."
Paddon is confident he has the support of the Hyundai factory team and laughed off any suggestion his seat might be under threat.