M-Sport: No shock signings for remaining 2022 WRC seats

M-Sport team principal Richard Millener says progress is being made to fill the team's remaining two World Rally Championship seats for 2022 but is not anticipating any “shock” appointments.

M-Sport: No shock signings for remaining 2022 WRC seats

The Ford squad confirmed the first piece of its 2022 driver line-up last week following the signing of part-time Hyundai driver Craig Breen to a two-year full-time contract.

Breen’s arrival leaves two seats to be filled as the British team intends to expand to three full-time entries with its all-new Rally1 hybrid Ford Puma.

M-Sport has been an active player in the driver market this season, openly admitting it has spoken to several drivers including nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb for a 2022 campaign.

While several names have been bandied about, Millener has hinted that its current drivers Adrien Fourmaux and Gus Greensmith are likely to be retained.

French rising star Fourmaux has been widely expected to keep his seat having played a crucial role in the development of the Puma and it appears Greensmith is now favourite to remain at the team next year, although yet to be confirmed.

PLUS: Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

“We are making good progress, to be honest we didn’t want to rush and say something, but it is not the hardest problem to solve as to who we will probably end up running,” said Millener.

“There is no rush to do anything and we have still got these last events on tarmac to see where we are.

“We know the car is competitive here in Spain and we know the guys Adrien and Gus can do good results on tarmac.

Ford Puma WRC Rally1

Ford Puma WRC Rally1

Photo by: WRC.com

“We would like to see how that goes but we will announce in due course, but I don’t think there is any shocks coming. There is no need for us to hurry anything officially.

“There are some things we are working on in the background that could alter what we do or how we do it. It [the announcement] will come but not quite yet.”

Greensmith revealed in the Rally Spain pre-event team media briefing that his plans for next year are secured but remained tight-lipped as to what they entail.

“At this moment there isn’t too much to say,” said Greensmith. “I know what I’m doing but I’m just more focused on continuing to make as many improvements as I can this year over the next two roads and then after Monza I can start thinking about next year.

“It’s not bad,” he added when asked if he was happy with the plans.

This weekend’s event in Spain will however be the Brit’s last with co-driver Chris Patterson, with a decision regarding his replacement at next month’s Rally Monza finale undecided.

M-Sport has also confirmed that talks with Loeb regarding a possible partial season WRC comeback have not progressed.

Suggestions the Frenchman could return to the WRC emerged mid-season with M-Sport confirming it had held talks with Loeb, who currently has commitments in Dakar rally and Extreme E.

Sebastien Loeb, X44

Sebastien Loeb, X44

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

“There are a lot of obstacles to do something with Seb and at the moment we are no further on to be able to say if anything is going to happen or not,” Millener added.

“It would be lovely but at the minute we are concentrating on other avenues and sorting what we do between Adrien and Gus and Craig for the year and see how we can best do that.

“Obviously there is substantial investment to get things up and running next year and we have got to get all that in place first before we go looking at anything else.”

M-Sport has previously stated that it does wish to field customer Puma entries next season which could provide an option for Loeb.

shares
comments

Related video

Ogier expecting “big fight” for WRC title from maximum attack Evans
Previous article

Ogier expecting “big fight” for WRC title from maximum attack Evans

Next article

Neuville: Unpredictable Rally1 cars like Formula E on a rally road

Neuville: Unpredictable Rally1 cars like Formula E on a rally road
How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master Plus

How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master

He may only be contesting a part-time campaign in the World Rally Championship these days, but Sebastien Ogier underlined that he's lost none of his speed in the 2023 season opener. Storming to yet another victory on the Monte Carlo Rally, the eight-time world champion rewrote the history books again as Toyota served notice of its intentions with a crushing 1-2

WRC
Jan 23, 2023
How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling Plus

How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling

Audi should have been invincible in the snowy conditions that typically greeted the World Rally Championship paddock in Monte Carlo. But unexpectedly warm weather for the 1983 season opener, combined with some left-field thinking from the Lancia crew turned the tables. Forty years on, team boss Cesare Fiorio reflects on a smash and grab

WRC
Jan 21, 2023
Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion Plus

Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion

M-Sport had a disastrous 2022 with its Rally1 Ford Pumas following Sebastien Loeb’s first-time-out win on the Monte. But now things are looking up with 2019 world champion Ott Tanak leading its attack, and the Cumbrian operation has optimism that it can challenge for a first title since Sebastien Ogier's departure at the end of 2018

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown Plus

The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown

As Kalle Rovanpera begins his World Rally Championship title defence in Monte Carlo, the Finn knows he has a target on his back. But who is best placed to knock the Toyota ace off his perch?

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title Plus

Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title

Question: what could be harder than becoming the youngest-ever World Rally champion? Answer: becoming the youngest-ever two-time World Rally champion. That's quite the challenge facing Toyota's Kalle Rovanpera in 2022, particularly against rejuvenated opposition in the second year of the WRC's hybrid regulations

WRC
Jan 18, 2023
From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing Plus

From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing

OPINION: New Hyundai WRC team boss Cyril Abiteboul admits he’s got a lot to learn as he leads the marque's efforts to dethrone Toyota. But could his Formula 1 experience and evident strengths mean he turns out to be an inspired choice?

WRC
Jan 18, 2023
The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed Plus

The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed

Toyota was unstoppable in the 2021 World Rally Championship, with an excellent 75% strike rate from 12 rallies. But in a scary proposition for its rivals, the Japanese marque had built a car for the final year of the previous regulations set which it believes was much faster and could feasibly have crushed the opposition completely. Here the story of its mothballed world-beater

WRC
Jan 1, 2023
Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022 Plus

Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022

The season just gone was a memorable one for many of our staff writers, who are fortunate enough to cover motorsport around the world. Here are our picks of the best (and in some cases, most eventful) from 2022

Formula 1
Dec 31, 2022