Tänak hopes M-Sport gets back to where it belongs

The championship challenge failed to materialize but Tänak still wants M-Sport to succeed


This time last year, Ott Tänak was preparing to get his first taste of M-Sport Ford’s Puma Rally1. Now he’s simply relieved to be out of it.

The M-Sport/Tänak reunion was supposed to deliver rally wins and another world championship for 2019’s world beater. Rally wins (in Sweden and Chile) were secured but, despite leading the standings after round two in Sweden, from May’s Rally Portugal onwards a title challenge never truly looked credible.

Tänak just couldn’t get on with the Puma Rally1 as everyone hoped he would. And so, just 12 months after waving goodbye to his friends at Alzenau, Tänak’s back on the flight to Germany with a Hyundai Motorsport contract in his pocket for 2024.

The Estonian departs an M-Sport team which is now without a clear lead driver, but hopes to see the squad return to the front of the WRC where he feels it belongs.

Ott Tänak

“I definitely tried very hard from my side to drive them forward,” Tänak told DirtFish.

“Beginning of the year was still quite hopeful. Then somehow we lost the track and there was not much happening. But yeah, I really hope that they get back on the track and back where they belong.

“I hope he [Malcolm Wilson] finds somebody a bit more consistent than I’ve been!” Tänak added. “Because I’ve been quite a tough product in the beginning I guess.

“But I believe they’ll hopefully have some other guys coming.”

M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener wished Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja well for the future.

“It is of course a shame that the end of Rally Japan marks the departure of Ott and Martin, but myself and the team would like to thank them for their never-give-up attitude, and the delivery of two great victories in Sweden and Chile,” Millener said.

“We wish them all the best next season.”

Words:Luke Barry