Motorsport: M-Sport Ford in talks with Ogier

Mads Ostberg drives the M-Sport Ford in Finland. Photo / AP
Mads Ostberg drives the M-Sport Ford in Finland. Photo / AP

M-Sport Ford have launched a bid to sign four-time world champion Sebastien Ogier for the 2017 season.

Ogier found himself out of a drive earlier this week after Volkswagen's shock decision to exit the sport at the end of the year.

While Citroen, where he previously drove, looms as a likely destination for the Frenchman a move to Ford is a definite possibility.

Ogier has a close relationship with M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson and came close to signing with the British-based outfit in 2011.

"I'm convinced we have the car for him to take a fifth world championship," Wilson told Autosport.

"It's no secret that he's always been my number one pick for a driver," said Wilson.

"We came close to signing him with Ford at the end of 2011 and I will do everything I can to make sure he doesn't get away this time."

Teams will usher in new spec cars in 2017 and testing at this point in the year is extremely important. Wilson says getting Ogier along for a test drive is premature at this stage.

"That's something we've talked about, but obviously Sebastien has still got a fair amount of talking to do with Volkswagen before he knows exactly where he's at to come and drive our car."

M-Sport had been expected to announce their driver line-up for 2017 in the next week but Volkswagen's departure and the availability of Ogier and former VW teammates Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen has delayed that.

Frenchman Eric Camilli and Estonian Ott Tanak had been expected to get the two seats with Welshman Elffyn Evans driving the sister DMACK Ford.

"We've suddenly got a lot more talking to do about who's in what car next year," Wilson explained.

"We were going to announce next week, but that won't be the case now."

- NZ Herald

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