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Wilson pays tribute to departing Solberg

Malcolm Wilson praises Petter Solberg after his announcement that he won't feature in the 2013 WRC season
M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson has paid tribute to Petter Solberg after the Norwegian confirmed that he won't compete in the World Rally Championship next season.

Solberg announced on Tuesday that he would sit out the 2013 campaign as he wasn't prepared to pay for a drive following Ford's decision to withdraw its manufacturer support for the M-Sport squad.

The 2003 champion hasn't ruled out a return to the series in future, but Wilson admitted it would be strange not to have the Norwegian in the paddock when the WRC heads to Monte Carlo for the first round of the 2013 campaign.

“It will be strange to begin a WRC season with no Petter Solberg in the service park, and I will miss him on a personal as well as a professional level,” Wilson said. “When we first signed him back in 1999, he was a fresh-faced youngster with a lot of potential and equally a lot to learn, and when he returned to Ford more than a decade later as a world champion, it was like he had come home.

“It was a pleasure to have Petter in the team this year and we are delighted to have shared in some of his many successes in rallying. We wish him well for the future.”

Ford Racing senior manager Gerard Quinn also paid tribute to the former Subaru man.

“Petter has been a charismatic and popular member of the service park for over a decade, and we are sure that motorsport has not seen the last of him,” he said. “All of us at Ford wish him every future success.”




Related Pictures

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Petter Solberg (NOR), Ford Fiesta WRC, Ford World Rally Team
Petter Solberg (NOR), Ford Fiesta WRC, Ford World Rally Team
Petter Solberg (NOR), Ford Fiesta WRC, Ford World Rally Team
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Jari Ketomaa (FIN) Kaj Lindstrom (FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, WRC2 winners
Yurii Protasov , Pavlo Cheperin (Ford Fiesta WRC)
Robert Kubica,  Maciej S zczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #16RK M-Sport World Rally Team)
Jari Ketomaa (FIN) Kaj Lindstrom (FIN), Ford Fiesta R5
Jari Ketomaa (FIN) Kaj Lindstrom (FIN), Ford Fiesta R5
Ott Tanak (EST) Kuldar (EST), Ford Fiesta R5, M-Sport World Rally Team
Ott Tanak (EST) Kuldar (EST), Ford Fiesta R5, M-Sport World Rally Team
Petter Solberg. Rally Sweden Historic
Petter Solberg. Rally Sweden Historic
Petter Solberg and wife Pernilla celebrate their victory on Rally Sweden Historic
Lorenzo Bertelli, Giovanni Bernacchini  (Ford Fiesta WRC, #37)
Lorenzo Bertelli, Giovanni Bernacchini  (Ford Fiesta WRC, #37)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)

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Bill - Unregistered

December 05, 2012 10:36 AM

If Malcolm Wilson thought that much of Petter then why the hell isn't he in the team. I would not be surprised if Matthew Wilson gets the other seat at M-sport, that is one guy who should never have made it to the WRC. Absolutely useless he was. Oh Matt has done well finishing 5th, yeah about 10 minutes down that's a fantastic result. NOT.

runnah - Unregistered

December 05, 2012 1:21 PM

Well I think that the decision to not have a solid veteran on the team is a big mistake. Petter for all his faults was a very consistent and all around driver.



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