Sebastien Ogier said his defeat by Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala on Rally Argentina was "not a big deal".
The reigning World Rally champion lost out to Latvala in a straight fight in South America, with Ogier opting to call off the fight on the final day and drive carefully to the finish.
He still won the powerstage, meaning he retains a 24-point championship lead over Latvala - a result Ogier said suited him fine given that he did not enjoy Argentina.
"It is not bad to score 21 points here. I lost only five to Jari. So thinking about the championship, it is really not bad," said Ogier.
"Of course I came here like always with the target of victory, but every time I repeat that I don't like the rough rallies too much, and I think now this is the roughest rally in the championship, so it is not a big deal for me to not win this one.
"We still had a quite good pace and then with these conditions we decided not to push to the maximum.
"I don't want to say that Jari just won because of that, because he deserved the victory."
Ogier reckoned that if he and Latvala had continued pushing as hard as they had done on Saturday afternoon - when both drivers spun on the same stage and Ogier also had a tyre delaminate - then the chances of both finishing would have been slim.
"I don't regret that I didn't push [on the final stages] and I accepted finishing second," said Ogier.
"On day one, my performance was not too bad; I suffered probably a bit from the [road] cleaning, then, on day two, I think that without this puncture we'd be pretty equal on Saturday night.
"And at the end, we would have had to push like crazy to fight for the victory, so maybe both cars would not be at the end. So for Volkswagen it is maybe better this way."
RALLY ARGENTINA VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: