M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson OBE says his squad needs to help Mads Ostberg get back in tune with the Ford Fiesta RS WRC machine having missed out on challenging for the rostrum at Rally Argentina.
Ostberg failed to repeat the pace he'd demonstrated in Sweden and Mexico on his way to two consecutive podiums and claimed a distant fifth in Argentina, almost a full three minutes behind the rostrum finishers.
Despite feeling positive in the car, Ostberg says he and M-Sport are uncertain as to why he struggled to produce the pace to match the front-runners after strong outings in the opening three rounds of the 2016 season.
“I think that we've been driving well and we pushed really hard on some of the stages,” Ostberg said. “It's fair to say that we were all hoping for more, so we have some work to do to understand why the times aren't there.
"We have done our best. We were well prepared and did the perfect job inside the car. I can be pleased with that. We will work hard before Portugal."
Team boss Wilson says both the Norwegian and the Ford Fiesta RS WRC were capable of much more in Argentina and they will head back to the team's base in the UK to uncover the issue ahead of the next round which sees WRC return to Europe with Rally Portugal.
“Having hoped to be challenging for a third successive podium, it's been a disappointing weekend for us,” Wilson said. “We know that Mads is capable of more and, if you look at the times of Ott [Tänak], we know that the car is too. Mads is driving well, but the times aren't there so we need to understand his issues and work to find a solution before Portugal.”
Ostberg has slipped to third in the World Rally Championship standings and five points behind Hayden Paddon after the New Zealand driver claimed a maiden WRC career victory.