Few people know the rollercoaster World Rally Championship journey like Richard Millener.
The M-Sport Ford team principal has seen the best of times with back-to-back titles and rally wins aplenty and leaner seasons where success has been harder to come by. He’s confident Hyundai has what it takes to be a world beater once more.
“They were world champions going into last season,” he told DirtFish. “You don’t forget how to do that. The people are all there, the same people. They have all the pieces for the puzzle at their feet, it’s a matter of picking them up and putting them back together again.
“We’re talking about a team which has just won the fastest rally of the season. Yes, there are difficulties, and I can only comment on what we’ve seen from the outside, but there’s nothing insurmountable.
“So much of this job is about the people. Since I’ve been in my [team principal] role, I’ve seen that more obviously than ever before.
“You can have all the right parts, an amazing car and everything working brilliantly, but if your parts departments not talking to the test team or your drivers aren’t talking to the engineers, then the job’s going to be so, so much harder.
“Bringing the people together and making the team gel is absolute key in what we do and that’s something I spend a lot of my time on.”
Millener admitted motivating a team which is going through a barren spell can be another challenge.
“Of course, it is,” he said. “When you’re winning, everything’s going well. When you’re not, it’s tough. This sport is full of personalities and lots of people think they have the answer, but they’re not going to have the answer on their own – you have to work as a team and take the self-belief from winning a rally like Finland.
“They’ve been at the top and I’m sure they can do it again.”
Asked what he would do to improve morale and motivation at Hyundai, Millener added: “That’s not really for me to comment, but like I said I know it can be done. They have all the right ingredients there.”