Ostberg is no longer chasing a Rally1 seat, but was considering retiring from rallying

Mads Ostberg says that he was thinking of retiring from rallying after his recent results in ERC and does not have the intention to chase a Rally1 seat anymore while he admits that his target is to compete and to have fun during the rallies.

The last time that the Norwegian driver have competed at the top level in World Rally Championship was in 2018 when he secured a full-season programme with Citroen Racing, but he dropped to WRC2 class from 2019 to 2021. In 2023, he decided to take part in seven from eight rounds in European Rally Championship in which he won only one event #Rally Hungary) and finished two times in the podium positions (Rally Serras de Fafe, Rally Liepaja), but the most important thing is that he missed the opportunity to claim his first ERC crown as Hayden Paddon won this year's championship with the Hyundai i20N Rally2.

"It was really important, to be honest I think for everyone involved because we had a difficult year, we had so many troubles and it was not the intention we had of course at the beginning of the year", Østberg said.

"It’s always hard, even if you know you are retiring from a rally with a broken driveshaft or two rallies with a broken driveshaft, I know there is nothing I can do about it but it’s never a good feeling for a driver anyway – for the confidence, for the feeling, to have these type of rallies.

"It was very crucial for me and for the team and for my co-driver as well to have this type of result to prove ourselves a little bit and see that we can still enjoy this game and we can still be competitive in the game.

"That’s finally why we do rallies – we want to have fun, and I don’t have fun when I’m not competing on the top.

"So I might as well not do it anymore if I’m not able to do that, but I think this result was important in many ways for that.

"I have done rally for a long time now and I know that I’m not a young talent anymore, and I have achieved quite a lot in the game.

"Actually a lot of my dreams have come true, so I’m not stretching or reaching or fighting to get into a factory Rally1 car.

"I’m here to enjoy, to be competitive and to have fun and I would probably be the first one if I see that I can’t be where I want to be anymore, basically I won’t do it anymore. It’s as simple as that.

"But I still have great sponsors and I’m able to get good contracts and I’m able to stay in the game, and in the respect of them I need to be competitive and in respect of myself and my family it needs to be worth travelling to all these countries and play.

"Finally it’s what it is – we’re there to enjoy, to entertain, to have fun. 

"And if I don’t have fun, there is no point.

"But I do have fun, I do enjoy it. 

"I did do Rally Hungary with a big smile on my face all through the rally, so in that sense I think it was quite critical for, let’s say, our future".

Source: DirtFish.com

Photo Credits: Red Bull Content Pool 

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