Sebastien Ogier is under investigation for leaving the penultimate stage of Rally Italy without his timecard in his M-Sport Ford.
The Frenchman left the end of the penultimate stage without the timecard - the vital paperwork which keeps a running record of the progress of the Ford Fiesta WRC through the controls – aboard his car.
With handling the timecard normally a task for co-driver Julien Ingrassia, Ogier said: "I never touched a timecard in my whole life, it didn’t happen again today - you are asking the wrong man."
Ingrassia on the other hand admitted to have made an error: "I did a mistake. I can make it right 1000 times and one time you destroy all that you have accomplished."
Motorsport.com understands Ogier’s co-driver Ingrassia was directed to remain in position before the Power Stage and the card would be brought to him by another competitor.
That instruction is understood to have come directly from the rally organisers.
Despite leading Rally Italy from Friday afternoon's SS7 until the penultimate stage, Ogier eventually lost out to Thierry Neuville by 0.7s.
Neuville's team Hyundai has not commented publicly on the issue, but the investigation has been confirmed by the FIA.
This is the latest twist in a regulatory debate between M-Sport and Hyundai, with the Korean squad directing the organisers to have a look at Ogier’s impact on the chicane in the Rally Mexico Power Stage.
M-Sport did the same last time out when Dani Sordo hit the tyres in a Rally Portugal superspecial.
This latest incident will be discussed by the stewards in Alghero this evening.