This week’s half term driver reports kick off with a detailed look at Mads Ostberg’s season so far with the Citroen squad:
The fact that the Norwegian sits fourth in the current WRC standings points to him having had a good first half to the 2014 season.
Joining the multiple championship-winning Citroen team gave Ostberg the chance to show his true mettle in a full factory car and he hasn’t disappointed.
He’s scored three podiums in seven events – including a second-place finish at Rally Italia Sardegna – and is now 28 points clear of his less-experienced team-mate Kris Meeke.
Ostberg has developed a knack for delivering mature and competent performances that focus on consistency. That’s the strategy that he’s decided to go with this season and he admits that he will only push to the limit when the conditions allow.
It’s not an approach that has brought him a victory so far but it has given him a healthy number of championship points. You can't argue with that.
Overcoming the dominant trio of Volkswagen’s was always going to be a tough job this season, so the main target for the rest of the field was to be the ‘best of the rest’. Ostberg has shown himself to be exactly that so far.
If he continues with the same approach during the season half of the season and manages to increase his speed in the DS3 WRC, he may be able to split VW’s Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen in the final series standings.
Ostberg’s most recent podium – second place at last month’s Rally Italia Sardegna. His consistent and calm approach lifted him into the podium places but he managed to increase his speed when it mattered to repel the challenge from the hard-charging Latvala on the final day to hold position.
Ostberg was denied the opportunity to build on his third place in Portugal after retiring from Rally Argentina with a thumb injury. The damage was done when his DS3 WRC bounced off the road and hit a rock. In all the commotion, Ostberg was unable to pull his thumb away from his car’s spinning steering wheel and the injury he picked up proved too painful to continue.