The M-Sport Ford WRC Team announced on Wednesday that they and Ott Tanak, the most recent rally winner have mutually agreed to part company at the end of the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship season.
Speaking about the announcent, Tanak said:
This year has gone by so fast together with M-Sport Ford WRT. I’m proud we have managed to win two rallies against such big manufacturers and we were able to be in the championship fight for the first part of the season. But this sport is tough and unfortunately we went down a few times too many, nevertheless all the people really tried hard to give us the best chances and I’m very grateful for them! I wish all the best to the whole M-Sport family for the upcoming seasons and hopefully we’ll have some good fights ahead of us.
Tanak took victory in Sweden at the start of the season but the team has had a number of moments of misfortune and speaking about today’s news, Team Principal of M-Sport Richard Millener said:
It has been a pleasure to work with Ott and Martin this season, a lot of work went into making the dream of getting them back to M-Sport a reality. Unfortunately, sometimes things just don’t go as you hoped, and their decision to leave the team at the end of the season is a consequence we need to accept, whilst now thinking towards what we can achieve for 2024.
“I would however like to take the opportunity to thank everyone at M-Sport who has worked tirelessly to give their all into this project with Ott and Martin, their hard work was rewarded with two superb victories but even through misfortune they have never given up, which only goes to show their strength and determination. There are still two events left and our aim remains to deliver further top results.”
M-Sport Chairman, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said;
“Firstly I would like to thank Ott and Martin for their efforts this season. Looking back, the season started so well, fifth overall in Monte Carlo (and Ott’s best finish there in the new Rally1 cars), followed by a victory in Sweden. We had a tough spell after this, and despite their incredible result in Chile, the year we all dreamt of just hasn’t come to fruition. It is obviously very disappointing for me personally to see Ott depart after only one season, but I wish him all the best.
“I would like to also thank every member of the team who has worked day in, day out giving their all to the program, their work ethic never fails to impress me through both the good times and the difficult times, they are all a true asset to M-Sport.”