Solberg gives Latvala his backing
Latvala ’deserves better’ says his Ford team-mate
Petter Solberg has pledged his strong support for Ford team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala after the Finn’s Rally Mexico accident.
Latvala was running third last weekend when he rolled and damaged his Ford Fiesta RS WRC’s rollcage three stages from the end, having been distracted by Evgeny Novikov’s crashed car. Earlier in the event, Latvala had led before breaking his suspension, and also lost time with a puncture on the second day before mounting another comeback charge.
Solberg managed to take third for Ford despite a string of punctures during his weekend, and said he felt his team-mate deserved a lot better than his current results.
"Taking another podium for the team is good for Chris [Patterson], myself and the team and we’re pretty pleased with that, but of course there is disappointment for Jari-Matti," Solberg wrote in his autosport.com column.
"I feel so, so sorry for him. I tell you, he is one ****ing quick driver - unbelievably quick, and he deserves more than this. One thing is absolutely for sure, he will be back and be strong next time out in Portugal."
Solberg was pleased that although Ford still lost out to Citroen in Mexico, it showed the pace to fight for victory before his and Latvala’s problems.
"The car felt good and I felt we had a good chance to be right at the front of this event all the way through," Solberg wrote. "At the same time, I didn’t know how much the Citroens had. How hard were they pushing? Was [Sebastien] Loeb at the max? I just didn’t know, so I went for it.
"As it turns out, the Citroen boys look like they were on the limit as well."
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