Ostberg contemplating step down to WRC2 in 2018

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Ostberg contemplating step down to WRC2 in 2018
By: David Evans
Dec 15, 2017, 10:56 AM

Mads Ostberg is ready to do whatever it takes to get his WRC career back on track – including stepping down to next year's WRC2 support series.

The former Citroen and M-Sport factory driver only started eight of this year's 13 rounds as he struggled to make his Onebet World Rally Team financially viable.

The Norwegian has since put his Ford Fiesta WRC up for sale (for £510,000) and says he won't be trying to run as a full private outfit without the necessary backing again.

"It was tough," he said. "The costs were enormous, but we really tried hard and we were the only ones who were doing this with the 2017 car and we can't do it like this again.

"We had a good team and when everything was working it was good, we really had the technical side of the car going really well.

"For next year, everything is possible. I am talking to so many people right now. It could be two rallies or it could be 12 rallies.

Asked if he would consider running an R5 car in WRC2, Ostberg said he would – but he said he would need to dominate the series if he entered it.

"I would expect to win [WRC2] rallies," he said, "or be near the front and really competitive if something happened [to him or his car].

"If I go back to this category and take this step back then I have to be there, if I'm not [winning] then that's really proof that I need to go and do something else, and I really don't want to do that."

Andreas Mikkelsen and Elfyn Evans both stepped back into WRC2 to get their career back on track, but Ostberg admits they have the advantage of a background in world rallying's second division.

"There would be a lot for me to lose if I went to WRC2," Ostberg continued. "And it would be tough, there are going to be good drivers there.

"When you look at Andreas, he competed in S2000 and in WRC2, he knew about this class and I really don't know so much. It's different, you are in a different place [in the running order] and you can have a different rally.

"I have to do something. I'm going to fight, I will not going to give up on what I have. I'm only 30 and I have a lot of years in this sport ahead of me.

"I know I still have plenty of potential and I can feel that inside me – that's why I am pushing so hard to get everything fixed for 2018.

"I have more motivation now than I ever had and I feel I'm driving as well, if not better, than ever. I want to get back to being a factory driver."

Ostberg confirmed he will start his 2018 WRC season in Sweden, opting to skip Monte Carlo.

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About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Mads Ostberg
Author David Evans
Article type Breaking news