Citroen's Mads Ostberg was encouraged by his showing on Rally Mexico last weekend and believes he now has 'very solid foundations' heading to Portugal, the next event on the 2014 WRC schedule, which takes place at the start of April.

Ostberg led for a period on the opening day in Leon, before dropping back behind eventual winner and reigning WRC champion, Sebastien Ogier in the afternoon. Nevertheless, however, he still concluded Friday's action in second place and was 'best of the rest', 26.1 seconds behind the lead Volkswagen Polo R WRC ahead.

Saturday, however, did not go to plan with the Norwegian making a crucial mistake in the opening test, the 30.33 km Ibarrilla 1 stage, when he hit a bank just 200 metres shy of the finish and broke part of the suspension on his DS3 WRC. That put him out for the day and ended any hopes of a podium, although he did rejoin on Sunday under the Rally 2 regulations, winning two stages and still taking a couple of points by finishing in ninth.

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"There are many positives we can take from the rally," said the former columnist. "We clearly have the speed. We showed that we are able to match the pace of the best crews [too].

"Sunday's final leg has [also] given us the opportunity to work on preparations for the upcoming events. Apart from one unfortunate corner [on Saturday], it was a very good rally. I'm really pleased to finish the rally with a couple of stage wins [as well]."

"I am convinced that we have improved this week. We know a lot more now than we did at the start of the rally. We have some very solid foundations we can build on in our tests for the Rally de Portugal," he added.

Citroen boss Yves Matton meanwhile was both disappointed and encouraged by Ostberg's run: "Once again Mads showed that he was capable of matching the best drivers. He was one of the quickest drivers throughout the weekend. He is improving consistently and quickly, which is highly encouraging for the next few events," he continued.