Difficult for M-Sport to sign Loeb and Tanak in 2023, according to Millener

The team principal of M-Sport Ford, Richard Millener, says that it will be difficult for the team to have Ott Tanak and Sebastien Loeb under contract for next season and believes that they have to find solutions to the mechanical problems of Puma before going to 2023.

Sebastien Loeb signed a partial deal with M-Sport Ford this year which included his participation in four rallies. The nine-time World Rally Champion was the first driver who took a win in the hybrid era of World Rally Championship as he won 90th version of Rallye Monte Carlo, but he was foced to retire from Rally Portugal and Acropolis Rally Greece after facing mechanical issues with his Puma.

On the other hand, Ott Tanak left Hyundai Motorsport after 2022 season ended despite the fact that his contract was about to expire at the end of 2023 and his only option for the new season is M-Sport Ford as Toyota and Hyundai have confirmed their line-ups. However, it is rumored that Ken Block and Petter Solberg will create a new team in WRC next year with Monster Energy being their sponsor and will use two Ford Pumas which will be driven by Tanak and Oliver Solberg.

Last but not least, it is understood that Gys Greensmith and Pierre-Louis Loubet will seal a WRC campaign with M-Sport Ford in 2023.

"Seb is very keen but he also comes with a price tag", Millener said.

"It was fantastic to have him for the four rallies we had this year and it is a shame that we only got a result in one of them. 

"It would be great to try and find a way to do more with him.

"Red Bull are still keen to try and support us and they have the ability to bring people like Seb into the team, but a lot has to fall in the right places for that to happen.

"It is clear that Ott is an option with him having left Hyundai, but it is an option that is still very difficult for us financially.

"World champions come with price tags. 

"We will do all we can to try and find a way to work with Ott but that is tricky."

"There is an honest discussion about what is the right number of cars to run.

"The season has taken its toll on the guys running the amount of cars we did, and we always challenge ourselves and you can burn yourself out a little bit.

"We have to be cautious that we don't put too much pressure on the team as well. 

"We have had a few little mechanical issues this year which we need to improve, but I think some of that is down to the very short turnarounds we were faced with, with the calendar being so tight this year.

"There is nothing major we need to do to fix that but when you stretch yourself to run as many cars as we have it can be tricky.

"If we are running cars we want to be running them at the level they need to be run at and I think we have done that 95% of the time this year.

"We have got to be careful for not adding cars for the sake of adding cars".

Source: Motorsport.com

Photo Credits: M-Sport

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