After not missing a round of the World Rally Championship for eight years, to miss two this season feels terrible.
When I wasn't in Ireland at the start of this year, it really hurt. And it will hurt again when I'm not in Australia for the country's return to the WRC - particularly as I've always enjoyed such a great reception when I get down there. But, I'm not going and that's that.
When the rest of the WRC was in Ireland in February, I was flat-out sorting my own plans for the Petter Solberg World Rally Team, so I didn't have too much time to think about not driving.
I think it'll be the same with Australia. I'm always excited when we're planning something and, after a few meetings, we're starting to talk about next year and the future. I want to be world champion again and I intend to be world champion again. If I didn't, I'd stop right now.
Talking of meetings, I went to England last week. My wife Pernilla and I flew over to Cockermouth to go and see Malcolm Wilson.
It's the first time I've been back to M-Sport since I left the team all those years ago [in August, 2000]. And I can honestly say, it was really nice to be back.
We all talked a lot about the early days and had some good conversations. It was really nice, I haven't had that kind of chat with Malcolm before - it was a really good feeling. I also had a look around M-Sport, which has changed a little since I was there last. It's a very impressive facility, some of the equipment in there is fantastic.
It was special for me to go back and good to feel the atmosphere of the place.
We talked a lot about this year, next year and the future. At the moment, nothing is confirmed, but it was good to know there are ways we can help each other. We threw lots and lots of possibilities into the air and now we will see which one of them lands.
As I'm sure you know, I tested a [Citroen] C4 last week. It was a good car. It was a 2007 car, not the 2008 version that is being used by the [Citroen] Junior Team.
It was another world, it made me realise that the time for the Xsara has passed. I have had a hell of a lot of fun with the Xsara - and achieved some results, which I didn't think were possible, but now the time has come to move forward.
I honestly don't know if it will be a Citroen or Ford for the last two rallies, but it's exciting to know that this is what I'm working towards now. And, like I said at the top of the column, it's that excitement which keeps me going and working towards another world title.
For next year, there are options. For sure, I'm not going to get a seat with one of the two manufacturers - both Citroen and Ford have their drivers under contract.
So I'm talking with my current sponsors. I have two ways of looking at next year - both of them offer a route to the world title. Either I go with the best possible World Rally Car and have a shot at next year's world title or I go with a manufacturer developing a new car.
But, if I go for the second option, then I have to be sure that the manufacturer is committed enough to be the best in the World Rally Championship. If I can't do either of those, then I won't drive.
My sponsors and everybody - me included - is pleased with what we have achieved this season, but we have to go forward from here. And the way forward is to be fighting at the top again.
So, that's the way it is for me now. I have to watch Australia from the sidelines, before playing a part in the last two rallies - both of which I love - and then coming back with an exciting plan for 2010.
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