Petter Solberg insists he was not to blame for the suspension damage that ended his chances of winning Ford's final rally as a factory World Rally team.
The Norwegian broke the left-front suspension on his Ford Fiesta RC WRC on the second stage of the Rally of Spain on Friday morning. There was initially speculation that Solberg had hit the same rock that caused his retirement in Spain a year ago, but Solberg said he fell victim to the stage surface being washed away by heavy rain. Thierry Neuville had already damaged his Citroen at the same spot.
"Neuville hit it first and he was out, but he wasn't there slowing anybody down," said Solberg. "There was a hole on the line and as the cars went through the hole was getting bigger and bigger.
"With the rain, the road had been washed away and the car was being pulled into this line. The [impact] broke one bolt and we were out. Chris [Patterson, co-driver] went back and stood near the place to tell everybody else to keep out. If he hadn't done this, for sure, they would all have been in there."
The incident was Solberg's second crash on a fast left-hand corner in as many WRC events.
"I don't know what to say," he said. "It's just so bad."