Friday | 31 Oct 2014

Solberg tips Mikkelsen after ‘impressive' 2014

Andreas Mikkelsen is the driver that impressed the most this year, but his Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala will struggle to match Sebastien Ogier.

That’s the view of former world champion Petter Solberg who gave his verdict on the 2014 title fight in an exclusive interview with WRC live.

Solberg was talking ahead of this weekend’s Rallye du Condroz-Huy in Belgium, where he will drive a Citroen C4 WRC alongside co-driver Phil Mills, with whom he won the 2003 FIA World Rally Championship for Subaru.

The Norwegian, recently crowned inaugural FIA World Rallycross champion, last tackled a round of the WRC in a world rally car in 2012 but keeps a close eye on the sport. “For sure I’m following the championship, watching how everybody is doing, and analysing how they have improved these last few years,” he said.

“The title fight this year is like we expected. Ogier is the fastest guy and it’s been difficult for many of the other guys to beat him. Latvala is an ongoing threat, he is very motivated and a fantastic person, but in the fight against Ogier I’m not sure if he can beat him.

Solberg says Mikkelsen has grown up quickly

“I think Mikkelsen is the one who has impressed this year - especially his stability. He has been growing up very quickly and taken his chance to learn together with Volkswagen. That’s a fantastic way to do it.”

Solberg also had encouraging words for Britons Kris Meeke and Elfyn Evans. “Meeke improved and on some of the rallies he impressed. Okay, sometimes he was unlucky, but he just needs more experience to build the stability, because the (Citroen) car is very, very good. Elfyn Evans has done some very good races too, I was very impressed and I think he can be very good for the future,” he added.
This weekend Solberg’s rivals will include Meeke, who will pilot a DS3 R5, and Citroen Racing director Yves Matton, who will drive a Xsara WRC C4 WRC alongside Sebastien Loeb’s former co-driver Daniel Elena.

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