Østberg might be just 28 years old, but he has more than 20 years of motorsport experience to his name.
The Norwegian started competing aged four and steadily moved up the motorsport ladder until selecting rallying as his chosen sport in 2004. Having scored various successes at domestic level, he made his WRC debut at Rally Sweden in 2006.
He continued to build on his WRC experience over the next few years – and added a brace of Norwegian Rally Championship titles to his name in 2007 and 2008.
Østberg’s big break came in 2011 when he switched to a Ford Fiesta RS WRC. He led sensationally in Sweden before eventually finishing second to factory Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen. His sixth place in the final championship standings showed what he was capable of.
Another impressive season followed in 2012 and that prompted M-Sport to recruit the Norwegian into their manufacturer team for 2013. His best results came in Sweden and Finland where he finished third.
In 2014 he joined the Citroën factory team and started well as defending champion Sébastien Ogier singled him out as one of his chief rivals at Rally Mexico. Three podiums and a second place in Italy showed his potential.
He remained at Citroën in 2015 and impressed early on with second places in Mexico and Argentina. However it was no great surprise when Mads announced he was leaving the French squad to return to M-Sport for 2016.
Ola Fløene is one of Norway’s most experienced co-drivers and has partnered some of the biggest names in Norwegian rallying throughout his 20-year career.
After success on the motocross track, Fløene switched to co-driving aged 20 and in 1996 began a partnership with Mads Østberg’s father, Morten. Over the next three seasons the pair tackled Norwegian championship rallies, going up against rivals such as Petter and Henning Solberg.
More national events followed in 2000 alongside Martin Stenshorne, but the year was marred by two huge accidents, one of which left him with a broken back.
Over the next five years Fløene tackled a variety of Nordic and European rallies with drivers including Henning Solberg, David Doppelreiter and both Morten and Mads Østberg. In March 2006, Henning asked Fløene to test alongside a promising 16-year old - Andreas Mikkelsen - starting a partnership that lasted seven years.
Using Fløene’s pace-note system, Mikkelsen set records in the British, Norwegian and world championships and claimed back-to-back titles in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in 2011 and 2012. A works WRC drive with Volkswagen beckoned in 2013, but Fløene spent that year with Sweden's most promising rising star - Pontus Tidemand - and the two clinched the WRC Academy world title.
In May 2014 Fløene got a call from Mikkelsen asking him to come back in time for Rally Italia Sardegna and he was happy to oblige. The pair went on to take four podiums during the remainder of the 2014 season and in 2015 they secured their first WRC victory at RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España.
Shortly afterwards Fløene and Mikkelsen went their separate ways once again - Fløene renewing his co-driving partnership with Mads Østberg ahead of a fresh start at the M-Sport World Rally Team.
After making his debut in 2008, Eric Camilli’s career hit top gear in 2012 when he won the Rally Jeunes competition in France, earning selection to the FFSA Driver Academy the following season.
He drove to eighth in the French Asphalt championship, netting two wins in the Citroën Junior Class, before finishing third in the Volant Peugeot series in 2014.
He made his WRC debut at ADAC Rallye Deutschland, showing great pace in the Junior WRC before finishing second in the category at his home event in France.
As well as a WRC 2 programme for 2015 in a Ford Fiesta R5, Camilli was signed to Toyota Motorsport’s junior driver development scheme to help develop the company’s proptype Yaris World Rally Car.
But it was on the WRC stages where he really made his mark. Front-running pace and three podium finishes caught the eye of M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson who saw in him the makings of a future world champion. Despite having contested only 10 WRC events prior to the 2016 season, Wilson signed him for a full World Rally Car season with M-Sport.
Benjamin Veillas might not be the most experienced WRC co-driver in the field, but the Frenchman has a wealth of navigating experience to call upon having started his career in 1997.
Competing in various French championships between 1997 and 2014, Veillas enjoyed the bulk of his early success alongside Stephane Sarrazin. In 2012, the pairing claimed two victories in the French Tarmac Championship.
Veillas made his WRC debut at the Tour de Corse in 1999 and returned to the world series for Rallye Monte-Carlo in 2008. However, it was not until 2015 when he partnered Eric Camilli in a WRC 2 campaign that he truly made his mark on the championship. Together, the pairing secured three podiums and were cruely denied victory with a technical issue on the final stages of Wales Rally GB.
With Camilli elevated to the M-Sport World Rally Team for 2016, Veillas will call the notes for the promising Frenchman once again. Reunited from Rally Mexico onwards, the two have a strong relationship and will be looking to reap the rewards of that partnership as the season continues.