M-Sport warns drivers not to let ‘heads drop’ again

The M-Sport boss tells Esapekka Lappi and Teemu Suninen he wants no repeats of 'heads dropping' seen in Estonia


M-Sport team principal Richard Millener has urged his drivers Esapekka Lappi and Teemu Suninen to take a positive approach to next week’s Rally Turkey following a disappointing outing in Estonia.

The factory Ford Fiesta WRCs finished sixth, seventh and eighth with Suninen leading Lappi and Briton Gus Greensmith home.

Budget restrictions limit the level of pre-event testing available for the team, with no rough road running planned ahead of Turkey. Despite that, Millener has urged the drivers to look to the strengths of the team and the car before round five starts in Marmaris.

“There was a degree of heads dropping in Estonia,” Millener told DirtFish, “and we don’t want to see any more of that. We all know where we are, we all know the [budget] restrictions we face and we have to get on with it.


“The guys were concerned about how competitive the car would be and then EP goes and sets fastest time on the opener in Estonia. Granted, it was a short stage, but he was still fastest and the other guys didn’t go into that stage with the intention of not winning it.

“Historically, M-Sport has built reliable, fast and strong cars and we believe the Fiesta’s no different.

“We saw what this car was capable of a couple of years ago. Séb [Ogier] broke a wishbone on one stage, managed some sort of fix with a ratchet strap and some blood, sweat and tears, then came back and went fastest on the next stage. I am happy to fix all the wishbones with ratchet straps if that will help!”

“It’s vital that we go there with a positive state of mind. Turkey can be a crazy rally where anything can happen and we need the guys going quickly enough to be right there in the mix.”

Then-Citroën driver Lappi finished runner-up in Turkey last season.