That’s according to Norwegian rallying legend John Haugland, who became a household name with several starring performances on WRC events in the 1970s and 1980s in Skoda 120 and 130 models.
Haugland, now better known for running his winter driving school, has been following the battle for third place between his countrymen Ostberg and Petter Solberg and Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala.
He said Ostberg’s “clever” approach is worthy of significant praise with the Ford privateer starting the final round in Salou four points in front of fourth-placed Latvala with Solberg 13 points behind.
“Mads is a clever driver and his speed on the stages is very much the same as Petter,” said Haugland. “Okay, Petter sometimes has the edge because he has the works car and Mads only has a customer car. But when you consider Mads has missed some rallies then to be third in the points is very good although he has been finishing rallies when Petter has been making mistakes.”
Haugland suggested that Ostberg’s popularity was on the rise in Norway, while Solberg’s was beginning to dip. “When Petter won the world title in 2003 this was a big lift for rallying in Norway. Now people are liking Mads more because he is the young driver coming through, on the way up, while Petter is getting closer to the end of his career. If Mads gets the opportunity with a works team then he has the potential to be a world champion in the future because he has the basic talent.”