What’s The Next Step For M-Sport?
With Ott Tänak’s departure from M-Sport being confirmed, what should the team’s next step be?
What’s Next For M-Sport?
The next step for M-Sport is a bit uncertain right now. As who will be available out of the current Rally1 drivers is unknown. M-Sports’ best current option is to plan to roster a team of inexperienced drivers. It’s likely Pierrr-Louis Loubet will stay with the team, and there’s a 90% chance British Rally Champion Adrien Fourmaux will join him. There’s a chance Esapekka Lappi could rejoin the team, however, how the relationship is between Lappi and M-Sport is unknown. Andreas Mikkelsen might be their best chance of getting an experienced driver in their line-up. Mikkelsen looks like he’s on pace to win the WRC2 championship this season. However, I don’t think M-Sport will push to add an experienced driver besides Sebastien Loeb in a part-time role.
A Young Line-Up
M-Sport could use the 2024 season to give younger drivers a chance to gain valuable Rally1 experience. Much like they did with Fourmaux, Greensmith and others last season. M-Sport doesn’t have the budget to sign a championship contender and develop the car, they proved that this season. Even with backing from Redbull, it’s not enough. Going down the route of developing the next line of Rally1 drivers may be the way for M-Sport. As if you can’t bring in a developed talent why not make your own, or at least try. There are options out there for drivers who could become the next big star for M-Sport. In the past M-Sport has done decently well at developing new drivers, namely Ott Tänak and Elfyn Evans.
Who Could Join M-Sport?
As previously mentioned the most likely drivers M-Sport will have are Pierre-Louis Loubet and Adrien Fourmaux. There are also drivers like Yohan Rossel, Nikolay Gryazin, and Grégoire Munster among others who could use a chance in a Rally1 car for a few rallies. There’s also a chance Gus Greensmtih could return to the team for the same reason. All these drivers are on the younger side and have loads of talent. It’s likely if any of them were to get a drive in a Puma next season they’ll have to pay for it. Munster is already getting Rally1 experience this year. Driving at Rally Chile BioBio and the Central European Rally. Although Munster is getting the opportunity through his friend Jourdan Serderidis. Oliver Solberg is noticeably missing from the list of drivers mentioned but why? The answer is simple, it’s due to sponsorship reasons. It’s believed M-Sport will be sponsored by Redbull once again next season. Solberg is sponsored by Monster Energy. Due to this Solberg likely won’t get a drive with M-Sport unless they aren’t sponsored by Redbull.