Ford team director Malcolm Wilson says he would love to be faced with the kind of internal rivalry going on at the Citroen World Rally Team at the moment.
The battle for supremacy on the Acropolis Rally and within Citroen between Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier was the talking point of the seventh round of the World Championship. That scrap ended with Loeb making a public denunciation of Citroen's decision to help Ogier to start the rally's final day behind him and Ogier winning the event.
Wilson has experience of the situation, having faced the same scenario when Carlos Sainz was asked to slow down for Colin McRae at the Acropolis 11 years ago. The Spaniard refused and turned a 48sec deficit to the Scot into a minute lead before finally pulling over on the final stage.
"I'm older and wiser now than I was then and I would have managed that situation differently," Wilson said. "I know I could handle that situation now. I know what Citroen is going through and it is an extremely difficult and delicate one to manage. But I would really like to be in that position again – I would relish it. For me, it's always a nice problem to have."
The Ford team missed out on the win last weekend, meaning that the Fiesta RS WRC has yet to score maximum points on gravel. Once again it was Jari-Matti Latvala who was the faster of Ford's Finns. His charge was stymied by a broken rear differential. Mikko Hirvonen finished third, but remains second in the drivers' race. Latvala admitted he was mystified by his teammate's sporadic pace.
"There is no doubt that Mikko is very consistent," said Latvala. "But sometimes, for the powerstage, the spirit that he has, he would have needed somewhere for the fight in the rally as well.
"Sometimes he has been missing that last spirit in the fight for it. He started really well and had it there and, when I think back to 2009, he had it there."