Ostberg: Portugal was no disaster
"There are definitely some positives from this weekend"
Mads Ostberg insists his failure to score points on Vodafone Rally de Portugal, which finished in Faro yesterday, was no disaster.
The Norwegian’s hopes of a strong finish were shattered when his M-Sport Stobart Fiesta’s gearbox broke at the start of Friday’s opening stage, forcing his retirement from day one.
He returned under SupeRally on Saturday only for powersteering failure to put him out of the running for a second day in a row. After restarting for a second time on Sunday, he eventually finished 31st overall.
“There are definitely some positives from this weekend, even though it was a bad weekend,” said the young star. “In Mexico we had a good result and the speed was not too bad but we were quite far behind the quickest drivers. We were around one second per kilometre slower than the quickest drivers in Mexico but now in Portugal we have got that down to around 0.3s or 0.4s per kilometre. That’s a positive sign and my feeling with the car is also better. I want this to continue.”
Unable to challenge for a top result, Ostberg spent much of Saturday and Sunday in Portugal working on the set-up of his Fiesta RS WRC in preparation for the upcoming gravel rounds of the series.
“We were working on damper clicks, different kind of roll bars, different preload on the differentials, just really small things to be honest,” said Ostberg. “We did the big work on the pre-event test and these are just small changes. But that’s what it’s all about, finding the absolutely the perfect set-up. We can still improve the car and I can improve a lot as a driver as well.”
Ostberg, who is co-driven by Swede Jonas Andersson, is sixth in the WRC drivers’ standings after three rounds.
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