The 2016 World Rally Championship driver shuffle has sparked changes in co-driver alliances, with Ola Floene ditching Andreas Mikkelsen for new M-Sport Ford driver Mads Ostberg.
Ostberg, who was left without a WRC drive after Citroen pulled out of its 2016 commitments to shift focus on developing a 2017 challenger ahead of the regulations revamp, switched to Malcolm Wilson's M-Sport squad for next season. The Norwegian rally driver was then left shocked by the news that his Citroen co-driver Jonas Andersson had jumped ship to partner fellow Swede Pontus Tidemand for a WRC 2 title bid.
However, Ostberg has quickly found an experienced replacement in Floene, who claimed a WRC rally victory with Mikkelsen at the Rally de Espana in October, which has now left Mikkelsen searching for a new co-driver for next year.
Floene, who co-drove for Ostberg's father Morten, cut short his contract with Mikkelsen which had been due to end in 2016 in order to pursue his dream of becoming a world champion.
“I would like to become world champion and I believe it is a better chance with a long-term co-operation with Mads then to achieve it in 2016 with Andreas, Floene told WRC.com.
“Mads is one of the top drivers in WRC.
“My time with Andreas is limited to one year and I'm not ready to give up my top level career that early. I feel I have the capacity for many years ahead at the highest level.”
Ostberg's new M-Sport team-mate Eric Camilli will also have a new co-driver for 2016 with Nicolas Klinger who is a former co-driver for Thierry Neuville.