The boss of Citroen Racing has apologised to his lead driver Sebastien Loeb for the technical irregularity which cost him the Rally of Australia.
Loeb lost his title after stewards imposed a minute penalty because his car was fitted with a front anti-roll bar link which didn't match the car's homologation form.
Loeb was relegated to second behind Mikko Hirvonen, who now leads the championship by five points with two rounds remaining.
Olivier Quesnel of Citroen says the different part had no effect on either the performance or reliability of the car; it was simply due to an administrative error and doesn't stem from any desire to cheat.
The penultimate round is in Spain in a month.