We can all breathe a sigh of relief – at least one of the young talents managed to find a nice new home for upcoming 2013 season, and that alone is achievement with not that many teams dedicated to full WRC campaign next year.
After the talks with Citroën failed to materialize and French squad opting for “southern comfort” Dani Sordo, Mads Ostberg was briefly out of the picture, but talks and negotations continued with other teams. Or should I say team, since M-Sport was more or less the only available option for Mads for 2013. Not long ago both parties confirmed reaching an agreement which will see Ostberg compete in all rallies next year, as part of new Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team, and he will also be team’s nominated points scorer.
Now, who will be team’s second (or should I say other) driver?
Official release below:
M-Sport confirms Østberg for 2013
Following the recent announcement that M-Sport will team up with the State of Qatar for the 2013 edition of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), the company is pleased to confirm Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson as Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team’s nominated point scorers for all 13 rounds of next season’s championship.
Following a sensational performance this season, Østberg was a strong candidate to help guide the team to success in 2013. Securing a top-five finish on each of the 11 rounds he contested in 2012, the Norwegian secured fourth place overall in the drivers’ championship – just 5 points adrift of Ford World Rally Team’s Jari-Matti Latvala in third.
Despite his relatively young age, Østberg has more than 20 years of experience in motorsport and has been a regular on the world stage since 2006. Having piloted the Ford Fiesta RS WRC since its debut in 2011 – contributing to a clean sweep of the podium for the Fiesta on its maiden outing in Sweden – the Norwegian is well versed in how to get the maximum from the car and has already demonstrated his ability on snow, gravel and asphalt.
With 15 stage wins and his first WRC victory under his belt, Østberg has regularly challenged his more experienced rivals. Harnessing a working knowledge of the team and car, the ambitious youngster is poised to produce another successful season behind the wheel of the Fiesta RS WRC and will be looking to prove his potential as one of the championship’s most sought-after talents.
M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“Mads’ [Østberg] performance this year has been very impressive. He has always had the speed, but his progression on Tarmac and the maturity he has demonstrated this season proves that he is ready to make the next step in his career and made him the ideal candidate to join the team in 2013. He has an old head on young shoulders and I am confident that we will see some strong performances from him as he rises to the challenge next year.”
Mads Østberg said:
“I am really happy to have been chosen to join the team and continue working closely with M-Sport next season. We’ve been working with the car [Ford Fiesta RS WRC] for two years now – we know the car and we know the team so from the technical side of things, I think we will be in a really good position as there won’t be too much of a change to get used to.
“But from the other side of things, it will still be a big challenge – albeit a big step in the right direction! This season has been really good for us, and I hope we can continue that into 2013. I am really looking forward to next season, and I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel and start testing with the team [in the next couple of weeks].
“This is a great opportunity for me. I have had many dreams in my career, but achieving this drive is definitely one of the biggest and I am certainly going to try and make the most of it.”