Solberg Bored with No Wins

Petter Solberg can only sympathise with Michael Schumacher's predicament in Formula One this season

Solberg Bored with No Wins

The Norwegian rally driver knows exactly how Ferrari's German ace feels. Both are former Champions who have lost that winning feeling and want it back.

While seven-times Champion Schumacher has won just once in 2005, in a race with only six cars and no real rivals, Solberg has taken two victories after five in 2004 and the Championship the previous year.

"I'm almost pleased that he's in the same situation," the Subaru driver, who took Schumacher out for a secret passenger ride before last year's Swedish Rally, told Reuters as he prepared to race in Britain this weekend.

"I know how it is. I know how frustrating it is for him. I am here for winning. If I didn't have that winning mentality, I'd stay home on my sofa.

"I have to start winning again. It's so boring not winning, I don't know how people cope with finishing every rally in fourth or fifth place."

British Rally

Britain, a round that Solberg has won for the last three years, would be as good a place as any for the Norwegian to get back on the top step of the podium but he has little real expectation of that.

The Subaru has not been good on gravel this year and Citroen's French World Champion Sebastien Loeb is in commanding form.

"When it's been wet and raining and muddy, it has been our rally," said Solberg, who promised to go flat-out in the Welsh forests from Friday's start.

"But maybe it will be different now it's dry...I don't want to say too much, we're going to try to win of course but it will be very, very tough.

"He (Loeb) has got a lot of confidence these days but I can assure you that it will be a different case next year...next year will be a hellfight."

Solberg has been caught out already once this year with a prediction that proved way off the mark, famously saying he could win 10 rallies.

As it has turned out Loeb looks likely to exceed that unprecedented tally, with eight wins in 11 rounds and five remaining, but the Norwegian has no regrets about making such a bold statement.

"I was talking a lot of bullshit," he said. "But I had a dream. It was possible last year, when I won five and led five more (rallies). That's why I put pressure on myself.

"I have to put pressure on myself, have to set goals for my own personal psychology.

"Maybe I say a lot of stupid things sometimes but its better to let people share a dream."

Subaru unveiled their prototype 2006 Impreza at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Monday and Solberg expected a big improvement from a new-look car designed with cost-cutting regulations in mind.

"It has to be big-time better," he said.

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Series WRC
Drivers Henning Solberg
Author Alan Baldwin
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