DanielPT wrote:I am afraid the problems Norwegians might have with Mads should reveal themselves quite irrelevant in Ford choices. On the contrary, Petter history with Ford might be in itself slightly more problematic. It is true that Solberg is perhaps the most talented to deal to pose a threat to Loeb (after Ogier, of course), but somehow I cannot see it happen.
Anyway, this is all irrelevant if Ford decides to pull out of WRC (this is quite possible at this time).
Neither can I, Petter has showed to be a bit to full of himself in the interviews over phone on norwegian TV lately.
The problem for Østberg is that I can't see him getting a drive purely on merit, and I'm not sure he has enough backing in Norway to actually get in the seat. Mainly it is his father that works for sponsorship, but he is even less liked that Mads in Norway.
Anyway, someone in Norway had some information on the "new" second team for Ford, or rather, a full lineup.
Visit Qatar Citröen Total W.R.T.
Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (F/MC) Citröen DS3 WRC
Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN) Citröen DS3 WRC
Nasser Al-Attiyah/Giovanni Bernacchini (QA/I) Citröen DS3 WRC
Ford (Abu Dhabi) W.R.T.
Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Ott Tänak / Kuldar Sikk (EE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Khalid Al Qassimi/Michael Orr (UAE/GB) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
MINI WRC Team (maybe 10 WRC events, all European rounds)
Daniel Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (E) MINI John Cooper Works WRC
Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (GB/IRL) MINI John Cooper Works WRC
Adapta M-Sport Ford Rally Team Norway
Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (N/S) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Petter Solberg/Chris Patterson (N/GB) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Henning Solberg/Ilka Minor (N/A) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
FERM Power Tools World Rally Team
Denis Kuipers/Frédéric Miclotte (NL/B) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Czech Ford National Team (10 WRC events, all European rounds)
Martin Prokop/Jan Tomanek (CZ) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Monster Ford World Rally Team (6 WRC events)
Ken Block/Alex Gelsomino (USA/I) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
M-Sport Dealer (6 WRC events)
Jari Ketomaa/Mika Stenberg (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
World Rally Team Brazil
Daniel Oliveira/Carlos Magalhães (BR/P) MINI John Cooper Works WRC
Motorsport Italia (Prodrive)
Armindo Araujo/Miguel Ramalho (P) MINI John Cooper Works WRC
Van Merksteijn Motorsport (PH Sport)
Peter van Merksteyn Jr./Eddy Chevaillier (NL/B) Citröen DS3 WRC
Oh well, on a different note, just discovered a fresh new article here in norway.
Both Petter (37) and Henning Solberg (38) is working for a factory ride in Ford for next season.
The wet dream for Norwegian rally fans can finally become a reality. Bot the brothers are in touch with team boss Malcolm Wilson trying to get the second seat beside Finn Jari-Matti Latvala.
Last season, Ford had three cars in the factory team. The main driver Mikko Hirvonen has signed a contract with Citroën for the coming season. That opens a spot for a new top driver.
Also, Volkswagen is a possible solution, but the newly established team will use 2012 to develop a competitive rally car and has already written a three-year contract with the shooting star Sebastien Ogier from Citroen.
Without the full WRC effort and with a young, rising star in the team, it seems that option is not quite as interesting to the younger brother Solberg - although the parties have been at the negotiating table.
The disadvantage of a possible Ford deal is that the world champion from 2003 have buy a place. That can easily cost some ten to twenty millions, and even more..
The third option is to continue with a private team from last year - even though it practically has proven too difficult to win both the World Championships and WRC events that way.
Something of the same Ford-solution can open up to big brother Henning Solberg. If he increases his own contribution by 5-10 million, the 38-year-old can get the third car, which this year has been driven by Arab Khalid Al Qassimi.
The third prize in the season finale increased opportunity for just that.
- I'm working for the second or third car in the Ford. With even better position in the team, I will get greater priority and more test run. I'm glad I got it through this season without any priority or any tests at all, says Henning Solberg.
For the third consecutive year the duo show off for tens of thousands of spectators inside the Fornebu with Solberg Extreme Motor Show this Saturday afternoon.
Finnish Latvala have to cancel due to test drives, but Kris Meek, Mads and especially IRC champion Andreas Mikkelsen will make it to the show with the Solberg brothers."
That was a very quick translate of that news
kostas22 wrote:On a slightly more serious but equally rejectful note - Stéphane Sarrazin! He actually has top level WRC experience! OK, so he was the tarmac 'expert' for Subaru for a couple of seasons, but it still counts for something!
I thought of him as well, but hasn't he moved on to endurance racing? Still, at least none of us mentioned that other F1 driver with rally experience.
He has, and drives for Peugeot in asphalt rallies in the IRC if it doesn't clash with testing of racing for Peugeot in endurance