Tänak joins M-Sport for 2023 WRC season

Tänak joins M-Sport for 2023 WRC season

Ott Tänak joins the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team for the 2023 WRC season.

2019 WRC champion Ott Tänak returns to M-Sport next year. The Estonian decided to leave Hyundai at the end of the 2022 season after “feeling that he was at a stage of his career where he needed to embark on a new challenge.”

Speaking about rejoining M-Sport, Tänak said: “M-Sport is the place that raised me as a driver and gave me all the hard lessons and experience to become a top level player in the World Rally Championship.

“After becoming a world champion, I have not been able to defend the title and I am not able to make peace with myself like this. We have had many discussions with Malcolm [Wilson] and we definitely share the same ambition.

“It is going to be a big challenge for us, but I know the people in Dovenby, I know what they are capable of and with their passion to give everything they have, we can challenge for the championship. I’m happy to be back in M-Sport Ford World Rally Team and we will give our everything next year.”

Ott Tänak and M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson while signing the contract.

M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson said: “It fills me with tremendous happiness and joy to see Ott back here with us at Dovenby Hall. 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.”

M-Sport Team Principal Richard 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.”

Tänak first confirmed M-Sport driver for 2023

M-Sport is yet to confirm its full plans for next year’s WRC season. Craig Breen had a full programme contract with the British team for 2023 but left one year early to rejoin Hyundai for a part-time deal.

2022 M-Sport drivers Gus Greensmith, Pierre-Louis Loubet, Adrien Fourmaux, as well as partial programme driver Sébastien Loeb, are yet to confirm their plans for 2023.

Photos: M-Sport