The defending Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion was leading the centenary edition of the event by 51.5s following six special stages.
But his choice of a combination of intermediate and winter tyres for Thursday’s final brace of snow-coated stages proved totally inadequate for the slippery conditions and resulted in the Škoda Motorsport driving reaching the end of day two 2m36.0s adrift of new leader Bryan Bouffier.
“We took the risk with the tyres thinking the snow would not be so bad but it didn’t work out,” said the 29-year-old. “This is rally and this is what can happen, especially on the Monte-Carlo. It’s very difficult now but we won’t give up.”