Crash.Net WRC News
Ford: We should have won
3 August 2011
Ford Abu Dhabi team boss Malcolm Wilson admitted he was disappointed to have missed out on victory on the latest round of the World Rally Championship in Finland.
Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen went into the weekend as many people's favourites for victory but had to settle for second and fourth as victory went to defending champion Sebastien Loeb.
Latvala started the final day well placed in third place but saw changing conditions allow Loeb to pull away at the front of the field. Although he battled back on the afternoon loop, Latvala was only able to climb back up to second place as he missed out on the chance to take victory in his Fiesta.
"I was closing on the lead all the time but I ran out of kilometres,” he said at the end of the event. “Just two more stages would have been enough. I drove badly this morning when the car didn't perform as I would have liked and I didn't know what to do. I finally realised that I needed to make a change in the differential, and when I made that everything came together. Unfortunately it was too late."
Team-mate Hirvonen was one of the stars of the rally as he battled his way up to fourth place after an off on the very first stage saw him forced to complete the opening three tests with damaged suspension and brakes.
Having dropped as low as 36th, he was pleased with his pace but disappointed at a missed opportunity to win his home event.
"I'm disappointed not to win," he said. "My fightback was good and I had great speed all weekend, which makes it even more of a shame that I wasn't able to fight for victory. I have to thank the fans who gave me great support all rally. I love my home event and I enjoyed driving in front of them."
Team boss Wilson said he was disappointed not to have won with one of his two drivers but said there were positives to take away from the Finnish weekend.
"I know the disappointment is even greater for the drivers. Jari-Matti did a fantastic job, but he never really felt relaxed with the car until the kilometres were running out. Mikko fought back superbly to maintain second in the championship standings, but it's a rally we should have won."