Wilson: Tänak elevates M-Sport to 2023 title challengers

Malcolm Wilson's confident the team can be fight for the championship once again


M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson says Ott Tänak’s return elevates the team to challengers for next season’s World Rally Championship.

Wilson confirmed the 2019 World Rally champion’s 2023 deal and talked of his delight at bringing a driver he’s been close to for more than a decade back to Dovenby Hall.

“It fills me with tremendous happiness and joy to see Ott back here with us,” said Wilson. “I have followed his career closely since his junior days and I’m very proud to have been a part of his achievements in the last decade.

“He has been to Dovenby to view our facilities and test the Puma in Greystoke Forest. It is fair to say from Ott’s initial feedback that we are confident we can challenge for the world championship in 2023.


“Having Ott here for only a couple of days has highlighted to us the level needed to deliver rally-winning performances.”

Tänak shares Wilson’s ambitions and admits he’s looking forward to adding to his sole 2019 world title.

“M-Sport,” he said, “is the place that raised me as a driver and the place that taught me all the hard lessons and experience to become a top level player in the World Rally Championship. Since becoming a world champion I have not been able to defend the title, and I will not be able to make peace with myself until I do.

“I have had many discussions with Malcolm and we definitely share the same ambition for the upcoming season. It is going to be a big challenge for us, but I know the people at Dovenby Hall, I know what they are capable of and, with their passion to give everything they have, we can challenge for the championship.”

Team principal Richard Millener has been present throughout the negotiations with Tänak and he talked of the positive effect on the whole team. Millener added: “Seeing Ott back in M-Sport overalls will be a significant moment for everyone at Dovenby Hall.

“The aim for 2023 is clear for us and for Ott: to win the 2023 drivers’ championship. To achieve this goal together will require a lot of hard work and energy, but we are prepared and ready for this challenge.

“Having a driver like Ott on board is key to lifting the spirits and desires of the team to realise our full potential and push forward in 2023.

“We have gained a lot of experience with the Puma in 2022, we know the strengths of the car and are confident that Ott is the right person to drive it to get the results we know we deserve.”