In Mads Ostberg's latest exclusive column on Crash.net, the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team man looks back on Rally Italia Sardegna, where a late call from co-driver, Jonas Andersson, cost the pair dear...
So we have done another rally and once again luck wasn't on our side, although we did get points by coming home eighth on Rally Italia Sardegna – and that means we have scored at every round this year.
Of course the season to date hasn't gone as I had hoped - but all I can do now is to look ahead, and try to make the most of the remaining six events.
Going to Rally Italia Sardegna I felt positive. We had won in Norway, taking the victory on Rally Aurskog/Høland, the fifth round in the Norwegian Rally Championship, and it was really good to fun to compete there and finally have some fun in the Fiesta RS WRC, with everything just going smoothly.
Still during the recce I had that
feeling. I knew I was getting sick and sure enough, when I woke up on the Thursday for qualifying I had a fever and bad throat. I knew it would be difficult after that, although we qualified okay and were sixth.
Day one on Friday went well – initially. I was running fourth and the Fiesta RS WRC was working very well. Even with the illness, I felt I was doing okay. Then on the final stage on that opening leg we rolled in SS8. It was because of a late call from Jonas [Andersson - my co-driver]. He very rarely makes a mistake, but unfortunately this time there was nothing we could do. It wasn't a very big roll. It was over a crest with a tight left-hander straight afterwards. We just landed in an awkward place, upside down among some big rocks which caused the majority of the damage.
Of course it was very disappointing as we were in a good position fighting with Mikko [Hirvonen] and Thierry [Neuville] for second place. But Jonas and I are a team. Sometimes he makes a mistake, sometimes I make a mistake and sometimes neither of us do. Either way, we always stand by one another.
The M-Sport mechanics did an amazing job, however, to get the car back to near-perfect condition for the final day and both Jonas and I were very impressed with their work and dedication. They did a massive amount of work on the car – stripping it all down and doing repairs on the roll cage. This big job was pure passion – a great effort and they even managed to continue their work for the final day, without any sleep at all, now that's dedication!
It was important after that to get points for the team, and also for me. Luckily we managed it, climbing back from 14th to get P8.