Official: M-Sport Ford signs Tanak for 2023

M-Sport Ford announced today that Ott Tanak will drive for the team in 2023 as the leader driver of the squad, but it is yet to be confirmed his teammates.
The Estonian driver started his WRC career with M-Sport Ford and made his first appearance at the top level in 2014 when he drove a Ford Fiesta RS WRC in Wales. At the end of 2017, he left the team and joined Toyota for two seasons while he became a Hyundai driver in 2020. Despite the fact that he had a multi-year deal with the Alzenau-based team, he decided to terminate his contract prematurely and his decision was known at the end of Rally Spain two months ago. Although his future was unknown in WRC as he was considering of taking one year off or to continue competing in World Rally Championship, the 2019 WRC Champion eventually announced his deal with M-Sport Ford for 2023 as Toyota had already finalised its driver line-up.
Last but not least, it must be mentioned that it was rumored that Tanak was testing the Ford Puma Rally1 at M-Sport's base lately which eventually it is true.
"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", Tanak said. 
"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 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!"
Moreover, Richard Millener said: "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".
Finally, Malcolm Wilson stated: "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".

Photo Credits: M-Sport

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