Ford boss Malcolm Wilson has said that Francois Duval's form on the Rally RACC Catalunya-Costa Daurda last weekend is proof they made the right decision in drafting him in for the twelfth round in the World Rally Championship.
Duval put in a great performance on only his fourth outing of the year in a Focus RS WRC car following three runs with the Stobart Ford team in Monte Carlo, Germany and New Zealand.
Although it was the Belgian's maiden outing under the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team banner, it was not his first with the Blue Oval's premier team, as the 27-year-old competed for Ford back in 2004, prior to his ill-fated switch to Citroen in 2005.
Speaking at the finish, Wilson Sr was very impressed, especially as Francois also gave up third and the final place on the podium to help BP Ford Abu Dhabi lead driver Mikko Hirvonen in his bid to beat Sebastien Loeb to the 2008 drivers' title.
"FranCois' performance proved it was the right decision to bring him into the team," Malcolm confirmed. "He did a great job to support Mikko in his quest to be drivers' champion.
"Now our attentions turn to Corsica where we feel the nature of the stages will better suit our cars and drivers."
Ford of Europe motorsport director Mark Deans meanwhile was also pleased with how Duval performed.
"Francois came into the team to help our championship aspirations. We've greatly appreciated his efforts in fine-tuning the set-up of the Focus RS WRC on asphalt and, of course, his spirit in assisting Mikko's title challenge this morning. I hope his professionalism can now be rewarded further in Corsica next weekend," he summed-up.