Ostberg, Mikkelsen, Tidemand in WRC co-driver reshuffle for 2016

Three World Rally Championship factory drivers have new co-drivers for 2016 after a week of intrigue and speculation

Ostberg, Mikkelsen, Tidemand in WRC co-driver reshuffle for 2016

In 2016, Mads Ostberg, Andreas Mikkelsen and Pontus Tidemand will have their pacenotes read by Ola Floene, Anders Jaeger and Jonas Andersson respectively.

It was the departure of Ostberg's partner Andersson to join WRC2 man Tidemand at Skoda that triggered the moves - and sparked anger from 2012 Rally of Portugal winner Ostberg, who has just returned to M-Sport from Citroen.

"I have to say, I was a little bit upset about this," Ostberg told Autosport.

"It came as a complete surprise and something I was not expecting - certainly not when we were about the start our first test back with M-Sport.

"It was not helpful, but I rose to the challenge and found a new co-driver for the test."

Ilka Minor and Emil Axelsson deputised during the test, with the expectation that Tidemand's former co-driver Axelsson would step into the factory Ford Fiesta RS WRC full-time.

The next shock came when it was announced Floene would be leaving Volkswagen and Mikkelsen to co-drive Ostberg instead.

Floene was known to be stepping down as Mikkelsen's co-driver at the end of 2016, but faced with an uncertain future in 12 months' time, Floene took the Ostberg opportunity and jumped ship a year early.

Mikkelsen's new co-driver Jaeger has previously worked with Junior WRC frontrunner Ole Christian Veiby.

"Anders has already been my co-driver on a couple of tests and he is very good in the car," said Mikkelsen.

"He is a talented guy and I'm confident that this is the best solution.

"I'm very much looking forward to get properly started with Anders."

Jaeger is Mikkelsen's fifth co-driver change in three years.

Mikko Markkula replaced Floene for 2013, with Paul Nagle stepping in for two rallies when Markkula was injured that year.

Markkula was back in the car briefly before Floene returned mid-way through last season.

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