M-Sport not offered an extension to their partnership as Tanak unveils

Ott Tanak reveals that M-Sport Ford did not offer to him a contract for 2024 saying that his negotiations with Hyundai were more straightforward ahead of the new season.

The Estonian driver ended his contract prematurely with Hyundai Motorsport at the end of 2022 and rejoined M-Sport Ford for 2023 with the view of fighting for this year's title. Despite his two victories and his two podium finishes with the Puma, he announced one month ago that he will return back to the wheel of the i20N Rally1 in 2024 and will have Thierry Neuville as his teammate again. The Alzenau-based team is trying to close its gap from Toyota by improving its car and by adding some key people to the organization, such as Francois-Xavier Demaison and Cyril Abiteboul. Their vision is to be able to fight for both championships next year, therefore Hyundai brought some upgrades to the i20N last month and so far has named two competitive drivers (Tanak, Neuville) who have been title contenders in WRC for many years. On the other hand, M-Sport Ford is a semi-manufacturer team and has lower budget than Toyota and Hyundai which means that sponsorships are the main sources on adding some drivers to its roster and on developing the Puma Rally1 as Ford Performance has not been involved so much in their efforts.

"I only had a one-year contract, and I was not offered an extension", Tanak said. 

"I just didn't have a contract for next year.

"We had discussions, but continuing was not really an option.

"Cyril was very clear about his vision and goals in the negotiations. 

"The negotiations were therefore very straightforward.

"It seems that they have a clear vision and clear goals. 

"And it's not just talk, because work is also done in the background. 

"They work hard to achieve their goals".

Source: rallit.fi

Photo Credits: M-Sport

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