Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson says Petter Solberg will be allowed to fight for second place on the Monte Carlo Rally, rather than having to drive for points on the World Rally Championship opener.
There had been speculation that Ford returnee Solberg would be held back in the wake of teammate Jari-Matti Latvala's first-day crash, but Wilson is adamant that is not the case. Solberg ends the second day of the event third, but just 3.7sec behind Dani Sordo's Mini.
"Don't get me wrong, I want the [manufacturer] points, but at the same time, he needs to be learning the car and finding out what it's all about," said Wilson. "I just want him to continue. He was conservative on the last stage and he wants to finish without making a mess on his first rally with us. I still think he can beat Dani."
Solberg and Sordo have traded seconds all day, with both drivers spending time in the provisional runner-up spot, behind runaway leader Sebastien Loeb.
"It's been a fantastic day," exclaimed Solberg. "The car has been very, very good all of the time and it's a great battle."
Sordo added: "I would prefer to be in Sebastien's position, a minute and a half ahead of this fight, but I'm here and I will continue to fight. It's a big fight."