Millener reveals Tanak's suggestions on Puma development

The team principal of M-Sport Ford, Richard Millener, says that Ott Tanak moved in a different direction compared to last year in terms of the Puma development and reveals the areas that his team has changed so far in 2023.

The Estonian driver rejoined M-Sport Ford this year with the intention of becoming a WRC Champion again in his WRC career. He has claimed his first victory with the Ford Puma Rally1 at Rally Sweden three months ago while he finished second overall in Croatia. Despite the mechanical issue he faced at Rally Mexico, he is among the drivers who are fighting for the championship as he stands in fourth place with 65 points, just four points behind the leaders Sebastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans. However, it is a fact that the 2019 WRC Champion is struggling to find pace with his new car during the stages, therefore he is pushing his team to make some changes to the Puma which are mainly related to the suspension and the set-up. Earlier this season, Millener stated that Tanak is being happy with the engine performance and the development should focus on other areas, such as dampers.

"Ott is pushing the team but I’m sure these guys next to us are pushing their teams as well", Millener said at the pre-event press conference. 

"Trying to push the team is their job as well. 

"It is nothing we are not expecting and we have made some good progress with the car in a slightly different direction to the other drivers when we were doing stuff last year. 

"As long as we can keep making some progress, that’s good. 

"We had a good time on shakedown, so I think that’s a positive start to the weekend.

"Ott has obviously had access to all the data from last year and hasn’t felt totally comfortable with that. 

"He likes to have his car set up a little bit differently and in a different development direction. 

"Things like dampers and the chassis set-up we have continued to tweak over the different tests and events and that’s what we are working on at the moment. 

"We hope the work on that will progress and make him slightly more comfortable. 

"We started this morning at shakedown with competitive times. 

"But this is a hard rally and it’s going to be a long day tomorrow. 

"Ultimately, we just have to go away from here with more consistent points to keep the championship alive".

Photo Credits: M-Sport

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