Although he had achieved several giant-killing podiums in the 2006 Citroen Xsara with which he started the season, Petter Solberg knew that if he wanted to win rallies again, he needed a higher specification car.
After testing newer machinery from both Ford and Citroen, he announced today that he will drive a Citroen C4 in Catalunya and Britain, and then explained his reasoning.
Q. Why the Citroen and not the Ford?
Petter Solberg: I tested both of the cars and I felt the Citroen was the car for the asphalt. It's a very good tarmac car. OK, it will be very tough to beat Sebastien Loeb on asphalt in Spain, he is very, very fast - but I have a chance now. It will be good. I am so excited about this.
Q. Was it a tough decision?
PS: So tough. Really, really hard, you know. I can't tell you how nervous I felt about this whole thing or how happy I am right now. I had to do the right thing this time, but it's been an incredibly difficult decision. Now I want to go and have some fun.
Q. How does Ford boss Malcolm Wilson feel?
PS: There are no bridges burned with Malcolm, that's the most important thing to say. I talked with him for a long time on the telephone this morning and he made me a very good offer. I am very happy with Ford and thankful to Malcolm for the test in the car and the offer he made me.
Q. Does this mean you won't be in a Ford next year?
PS: No. Nothing is decided for next year. With 13 rallies and five long-hauls, the budget for next year is completely different to this season - and that's what I'm working on right now. I can't say what car I will drive next year until I have the money and the sponsors sorted out.
Q. Are you confident of doing that?
PS: Well, I'm trying. Yes, I'm confident I will do it, but it's really not easy in these conditions.
Q. Which team will you drive for in the C4?
PS: I will stay as the Petter Solberg World Rally Team. I have a fantastic team with me, such a great bunch of people.
Q. Can you win in Spain?
PS: Like I said, Sebastien will be really tough to beat. I want to make the podium in Spain. I don't have so much experience [with the car] on that event. But I have been driving the Xsara and after testing the C4, I know what I've been fighting against. I've had a lot of fun with the Xsara, but the C4 is a big step forwards, massive step forwards. Now I know what I have been trying to do. And now I know what I can do.