M-Sport Ford World Rally Team principal Richard Millener has confirmed Adrien Fourmaux’s entry for next month’s Rally Portugal.
M-Sport had revealed to DirtFish it was considering a variety of options for Fourmaux following his crash at last week’s Croatia Rally. But Fourmaux will test the Puma Rally1 in Portugal on Saturday and will compete on the rally as orginally planned.
Millener told DirtFish: “We believe it would be detrimental to Adrien’s development as a driver if we were to take him out of the car and put him in another category in Portugal. He’ll be at the event in a Puma.
“We still believe in him, that’s never changed. Right now it’s probably a bit more painful to have cars being crashed when we’re working with a new car and everybody and everything is already stretched. He knows that. He knows the situation.”
Asked what the advice would be for Fourmaux ahead of Portugal, Millener replied: “He knows what he’s got to do. We’ve talked about this and now he needs to relax and get on with driving the car. There’s no doubting his speed and his potential. He can do this.”
Millener wasn’t willing to divulge details of the discussions between the team and Fourmaux, adding: “I’m not sure b********g people really helps them develop as drivers – you’re in danger of making them scared to drive the car.
“What we’re seeing with Adrien is part and parcel of developing a young driver. Look back and this team has helped bring on more young drivers than any other team in the championship. Malcolm [Wilson, managing director] has been through this same thing with the likes of Jari-Matti [Latvala], Ott [Tänak], Elfyn [Evans] and maybe Mikko Hirvonen. But just right now, with the costs involved with the new car, it’s hurting a little bit.”
Fourmaux’s Croatia Rally effort ended when he crashed out of the event on the third stage. That was his second accident in three rounds this season.
“Like I said, we know what Adrien can do,” said Millener. “Look at Safari last year and what a sensible drive that was. Again, like I said, we know he can do it.”