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Rally de Espana - Pre-event press conference

Rally de Espana pre-event press conference with Mads Ostberg, Sebastien Loeb, Dani Sordo and Malcolm Wilson

Drivers: Mads Ostberg (Adapta World Rally Team), Sebastien Loeb (Citroen Total WRT) and Dani Sordo (Prodrive WRC Team).

Team principal: Malcolm Wilson (Ford World Rally Team)



Press conference


Q:
Malcolm, Ford not continuing its sponsorship within the WRC has been big news over the past few weeks. You have said that you [M-Sport] will continue competing - what is the plan for 2013?

Malcolm Wilson:
The plan is to try and stay at the highest possible level. I can't tell you anything at the moment, there are a lot of negotiations going on, but we are realistic and hopeful of going on – but I can't divulge anything.

Q:
There's a lot of speculation that you are talking to Qatar?

Malcolm Wilson:
There's no question we are speaking with Qatar along with a lot of people, but we're not in a position to confirm anything.

Q:
In terms of driver line-up, what is your plan?

Malcolm Wilson:
There's no question, when you're in this job you want the best drivers for the best job; now with no disrespect to the drivers, this is not my priority at the moment. I need to get the team in a place to be competitive and then we'll look to get the best possible drivers in place.

Q:
How confident are you of getting sponsorship?

Malcolm Wilson:
Good question and I can't answer.

Q:
There's a challenge ahead?

Malcolm Wilson:
This is always a big challenge, but this is bigger than before.

Q:
You and Ford have been intrinsically linked over the years, what are your best memories?

Malcolm Wilson:
There are so many; we talked about them last night [at Ford's media function]. The fact that, when we got the contract, we had 18 staff and 76 days before Monte Carlo, but we then ended up taking 100-odd people to Monte 76 days later. Like any business, we have made mistakes along the way, but when we got the victory in Greece [1997] with Carlos [Sainz] and Juha [Kankkunen] and I had to implement team orders - that was a new challenge. There were some great highlights: when Colin [McRae] won on the Safari [1999] on only the third event in the Focus, and then when we took the Championship in New Zealand for the first time [2006], that was the icing on the cake. As well as that, I have worked with a lot of young drivers and got them to victory - seeing them progress has been fantastic. There have been so many memories down the 16 years.

Q:
Mads, as we go into the final event of the season, you are in third position in the Championship. It will be a close battle to try and defend it this weekend…

Mads Ostberg:
Well, obviously I will try as hard as possible. I'm not here to secure fourth or fifth, I'm here to fight with Jari-Matti [Latvala] for the third position and we will give everything we can.

Q:
How do you feel about the Tarmac stages?

Mads Ostberg:
The last day in France was quite good, we went well. Before the event I went to Le Mans to do a drive day in single-seater race car. Hopefully this has helped a little bit – I hope to fight on the gravel as well. But to fight with Jari-Matti is hard; if he's in the right mood, and he stays on the road, he is fast.

Q:
Will you risk everything?

Mads Ostberg:
I see no point in not doing it [risking everything]. Either we make it or we are not third anyway. It's worth taking a bit more risk.

Q:
What is the future for next year? It is no secret that you have been linked with M-Sport and Citroën - where will you be?

Mads Ostberg:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Malcolm Wilson Team Principal Ford World Rally Team
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Jonas Andersson (SUE), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team
Dani Sordo (ESP), Mini John Cooper Works, MINI WRC TEAM
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team

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