Q & A with Petter Solberg

Although he had achieved several giantkilling podiums in the 2006 Citroen Xsara with which he started the season, Petter Solberg knew that if he wanted to win rallies again, he needed a higher specification car

Q & A with Petter Solberg

After testing newer machinery from both Ford and Citroen, he announced today that he will drive a Citroen C4 in Catalunya and Britain, and then explained his reasoning to AUTOSPORT.

Q. Why the Citroen and not the Ford?

Petter Solberg: I tested both of the cars and I felt the Citroen was the car for the asphalt. It's a very good tarmac car. Okay, it will be very tough to beat Sebastien Loeb on asphalt in Spain, he is very, very fast - but I have a chance now. It will be good. I am so excited about this.

Q. Was it a tough decision?

PS: So tough. Really, really hard, you know. I can't tell you how nervous I felt about this whole thing or how happy I am right now. I had to do the right thing this time, but it's been an incredibly difficult decision. Now I want to go and have some fun.

Q. How does Ford boss Malcolm Wilson feel?

PS: There are no bridges burned with Malcolm, that's the most important thing to say. I talked with him for a long time on the telephone this morning and he made me a very good offer. I am very happy with Ford and thankful to Malcolm for the test in the car and the offer he made me.

Q. Does this mean you won't be in a Ford next year?

PS: No. Nothing is decided for next year. With 13 rallies and five long-hauls, the budget for next year is completely different to this season - and that's what I'm working on right now. I can't say what car I will drive next year until I have the money and the sponsors sorted out.

Q. Are you confident of doing that?

PS: Well, I'm trying. Yes, I'm confident I will do it, but it's really not easy in these conditions.

Q. Which team will you drive for in the C4?

PS: I will stay as the Petter Solberg World Rally Team. I have a fantastic team with me, such a great bunch of people.

Q. Can you win in Spain?

PS: Like I said, Sebastien will be really tough to beat. I want to make the podium in Spain. I don't have so much experience [with the car] on that event. But I have been driving the Xsara and after testing the C4, I know what I've been fighting against. I've had a lot of fun with the Xsara, but the C4 is a big step forwards, massive step forwards. Now I know what I have been trying to do. And now I know what I can do.

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Solberg chooses C4 for final rounds

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