Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson described the loss of Petter Solberg's car on stage two in Spain as "very disappointing".
The squad was ultra-keen to deliver a victory in the final rally before Ford withdraws its factory status, but Solberg damaged his car very early in the event.
The Norwegian's factory Fiesta RS WRC had been running fourth after the opening stage this morning, before he stopped 18.63km into the 26.59km test.
There is a suspicion that Solberg might have hit the same rock in the Pesells test which ruled him out of contention on this event last year.
"Obviously it's very, very disappointing," said Wilson.
"I haven't spoken to him yet, but it sounds like the same place as last year.
"The front-left suspension on the car is broken, they tried to carry on but weren't going anywhere and stopped shortly after."
The Ford team has not seen Solberg's car yet, but it is hoped the 2003 world champion will return to the event for the asphalt stages over the weekend.
Wet conditions on the opening round of the final World Rally Championship round of the season has turned the form book on its head, with M-Sport drivers Mads Ostberg and Ott Tanak running first and second, while Jari-Matti Latvala's remaining works Ford is only fifth.