M-Sport World Rally Team signed Ostberg and Camilli for 2016
M-Sport World Rally Team will have completely new drivers line-up in 2016 season. Norwegian Mads Ostberg and Frenhcman Eric Camilli will replace Ott Tanak and Elfyn Evans. The return of Ostberg to M-Sport had been expected after Citroen announced a break year and Tanak moved to new team, but 28-year-old Eric Camilli as his new team-mate is a big surprise.
It’s sure that Camilli left good impression to M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson with this year’s WRC2 outings. Camilli competed in Ford Fiesta R5 on eight events, scored two podiums and finished 10th in WRC2 classification. Although he has no experience in WRC car, Malcolm Wilson believes that Camilli can bring good results. M-Sport has not confirmed the length of contract for its new drivers but it is understood that Camilli’s agreement is for more than one year.
“We know what Mads is capable of and I believe he has the ability to put M-Sport and Ford back on the top step of the podium next year. There are a number of events in which he can challenge for victory and that has to be our aim for the season ahead. Eric’s WRC experience is limited, but I truly believe that he has all the makings of a future world champion. He has already proven how quickly he can adapt to new cars and new events and I think his progression will be swift,” Malcolm Wilson said about new drivers. Wilson has yet to decide whether M-Sport will tackle all 14 rounds. There is also possibility to continue the cooperation with Elfyn Evans.
“Next year, the development of our 2017 challenger will be of the utmost importance and we need to ensure that this will not be compromised before we make any decision on whether or not to contest all 14 events. The team is still in discussion with Elfyn and there is potential for him to have some form of programme in 2016. News of this potential programme will be announced when known,” said a team spokesperson.
“I’ve changed my driving style over the past two years so it will be interesting to see how that works with the Fiesta and whether or not I’ll have to go back to my previous style. It’s difficult to say how quickly we’ll be able to adapt, but I remember the Fiesta being really easy to drive. I feel as though my driving has progressed a lot recently, and the plan is to continue that progression next year. I want to make another improvement in speed, challenge for more podiums and I think wins could also be a possibility. I want to get faster, and I think I can do that without sacrificing the consistency,” Mads Ostberg said.
“The priority for next season will be to discover the level required to compete in a World Rally Car and to learn the Fiesta RS WRC. I know it will be fast – faster than anything I’ve ever driven before – so I’ll need to take everything step by step and work hard to improve every aspect of what it takes to become a world class driver. I want to do the best job that I can, but I know that I can’t put too much pressure on myself at the beginning. I’m very motivated, but I know every driver has to start somewhere and that I will require time to be competitive at the highest level,” Eric Camilli said.