Kiwi WRC driver Hayden Paddon finishes fifth at Rally Sweden

Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon is content with a fifth-place finish in his return to WRC action at Rally Sweden.

The 30-year-old stalled his Hyundai i20 a couple of kilometres from the finish line on the final stage to miss out on fourth place.

Placings of eighth, fourth and 10th on the final three stages saw the 30-year-old surpassed by Finland's Esapekka Lappi.

The rally was won by Paddon's Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville of Belgium, who beat the New Zealander by 54.4 seconds.

"To come away with a top-five finish is not bad," Paddon said after the race.

"We were in podium contention for most the weekend so a lot of positives to take out of that along with a couple of stage wins shows the pace is there.

"We have enjoyed the weekend and made the most of what we had, we gave it a good shot and most of all made no mistakes and got to finish." 

Rally Sweden is one of only seven Paddon is competing in this season, after finishing last season in eighth place.

He won't be back out competing in the WRC until May when the rally heads to Portugal. He will also race in Italy (June), Finland (July), Turkey (September), Great Britain (October) and Australia (November).

Paddon sits ninth overall in the drivers' standings with 10 points.