Volkswagen retired Jari-Matti Latvala's Polo R WRC before the official finish of Rally Sweden to take advantage of a World Rally Championship rules quirk for the next round in Mexico.
Under article 64.5.1 of the current WRC rules, manufacturer must nominate "a list of linked rallies intended to be run with the same transmission and spare parts".
In Latvala's case, Sweden was linked with Rally Mexico and Rally Argentina.
But after an accident on Friday limited him to 12th place in Sweden, and he failed to pick up any bonus points on the power stage, VW elected to park his car before the final time control so that he can have greater transmission set-up freedom for Mexico.
Latvala used the rest of the Sweden weekend as a test following his Friday error, and felt he had made significant breakthroughs in the process.
"For me personally, I have to try to take positives out of the week," he said.
"Once I made that mistake on Friday, I was obviously not going to have a say in the outcome of the rally.
"This gave me time to try out a few things with the set-up, and I learned some knew and important things as a result.
"I now understand the new Polo even better, and that was already noticeable today.
"The season is still young, and there is still everything to play for. My starting position will certainly be an advantage in Mexico, and I will attack again there."
With Sebastien Ogier having won both rallies so far this season, Latvala is already 34 points behind his championship-leading team-mate in fourth in the standings.
The Finn had been running second to Ogier when he went off on Friday - and had been poised to take the lead as the champion had made a mistake of his own on the same stage.
Under the new restrictions on what information crews can receive during a stage, VW could not inform Latvala of Ogier's delay so he was unaware that he was now effectively leading the rally when he made his own error.