M-Sport: Fourmaux now looks like the finished article

Team principal Richard Millener is delighted with his protégé's progression on his return to WRC top table


If M-Sport’s team principal Richard Millener had a haughty look, he’d probably be wearing it right now. And with some justification. His protégé is delivering on the promise others had doubted.

These are the moments Adrien Fourmaux was dreaming about two years ago.

The Frenchman’s troubled rookie season at the very top of the sport is a fast-fading memory as he continues to impress through 2024. Fourth in Portugal stacks up alongside a brace of podiums, a fifth place and that stellar Croatian powerstage win.

He’s a different driver, a different person.

“Everything’s come together at once for Adrien,” Millener told DirtFish. “He just looks like the finished article now. When you look at him now, he just looks like a professional athlete. He’s been working out in the gym. He’s confident, he’s smart, he’s professional. He’s doing great.


Confident, smart, professional; and Millener thinks Fourmaux's not bad either

“There’s still a lot to go and we’re at the early part of the season and there will be some tough times, I’m sure. But his ability to balance himself over the event and pick and choose his battles and have a really sensible approach to things… it’s really great to watch. I’ve seen all the hard times he’s had and now he’s really at the top of his game at the moment.”

Last season’s demotion to the British Rally Championship – which he subsequently dominated – looks to have provided precisely the reset he needed.

Millener added: “Everything was kind of coming together for him last year – in terms of being able to deal with pressure and deal with situations and be very focused on how to approach a rally and be consistent across the whole event.

“And if there was a problem or a puncture or something went wrong, it wasn’t an emotional reaction. It was a more measured approach: right that’s done, now we’ve got to react, alter our plan slightly, drive accordingly.

“And then you came to this year and every rally I’ve seen him it’s just his performance is consistent. It isn’t going up and down throughout the rally, it’s not like a couple of good stages, a couple of horrendous stages, it is consistently very impressive.”

Millener’s full of praise, but the praise isn’t yet fulsome. There’s still room for improvement.

“We’re not as close to the lead as we would like,” he said. “If you break it down and analyze each stage we are losing tenths of seconds – but we’re not losing massive chunks.


Fourth in Portugal, on the back of podiums in Sweden and Kenya, leaves Fourmaux fourth in the drivers' standings

“But something has clicked for him, he’s able to fight with the other guys now. Adrien is now considered as somebody who can fight with everybody – he’s coming to rallies to fight for a podium rather than to get a fifth or sixth place.”

Fourmaux is an intelligent fella. He knows what’s going on here.

“It’s what we call experience,” he said with a smile. “I really like to drive the Rally1 cars. Portugal was a fantastic rally for us. Starting third in the position [on the road on Friday], and finishing fourth? I would have signed directly [for that result] before the rally.

“I think we have the pace, we are competitive. For sure, the other drivers, it’s in every single stage that they are pushing like hell. For us, it’s getting [there], it’s coming. But still sometimes, in one stage we lose a little bit too much, then the gap is a bit bigger. But I think we can be really, really pleased with what we have done.

“What I love is this confidence to push. The more experience I get with the Rally1, so then I can play a bit more when something happens to the car, to correct it in case I’m too wide, or just a moment to react the good way, and not with the bad one.”