M-Sport survives a divorce from Qatar, new livery and partners confirmed

New, or should I say existing partners, new driver lineup and finally new team colours on the car – that’s what M-Sport World Rally Team is all about few days before the first major test of the season. Yesterday something broke in M-Sport security system and one image was able to break free and reveal the new looks to us too soon. Understandably, team went into pissed-off mode, but I’m sure this will not distract them from the main job and that is to prepare and then deliver on the stages in Monte.

To be able to do that, M-Sport renewed their partnership with key, well, partners; Castrol, Ford (of course), Michelin (black, round) and 3M Pulsar, who were also responsible for the unique presentation of the new livery: they wrapped the car live at Autosport Show. I am really REALLY looking forward to this, well we can say it’s a brand new team really. There is a lot of good stuff surrounding this squad, and if they can back that up with results WRC will be a much better place for all. Because WRC needs Ford needs WRC, that’s why.

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

“I’m very happy to reveal the new 2014 livery for the M-Sport World Rally Team. There has been a lot of hard work to get to this point, and I need to commend the efforts of every single member of our dedicated team.

“I am also delighted to announce that we will continue our long and successful partnership with our team partners, Castrol and Michelin, as well as our valued trade partners. We also continue our excellent working relationship with the Ford Motor Company whose invaluable technical support continues to aid M-Sport in the design and development of our award-winning range of Fiesta rally cars.”

Mikko Hirvonen said:

“I’m really excited to be back with the team and back in the Fiesta [RS WRC]. As soon as we got back behind the wheel we had a good feeling with the car and it is that kind of thing that can really help. Of course there is always room for more testing and it would have been nice to have a few more days after two years away, but I feel as though we are ready for the challenge.

“Monte-Carlo is a difficult event. The conditions can be so changeable and you often have to make compromises with the tyres. We didn’t have much snow for our test and it was actually quite mild, so if the weather stays like that I would be quite happy.

“We need to see what happens, but a podium will definitely be in my mind. This season will be a little different, and I think we can look to take a few risks in the beginning. We need to see what happens, but I am here to be competitive and if we can secure a podium finish it would be a very good result for us.”

Elfyn Evans said:

“Our approach for this event will be to gain as much knowledge as we can. There is no doubting that it will be a difficult start to the year, but I am really looking forward to the challenge. We’re here to learn and to make the most of this opportunity for the years to come.

“Monte is known to be a bit of a lottery. The conditions can be really unpredictable and it will also be the first time that I have had to work with an ice note crew, so that might take some getting used to. We started testing earlier this week. We had some really tricky conditions on the first day, but we were able to run a lot of different variations with the tyres which should hopefully see us well prepared for anything the Monte has to offer.

“Of course we all understand how unforgiving this event can be. I’ve only ever driven the Fiesta RS WRC on gravel in competition, so our main objective will be to make it to the finish ramp with as much experience as possible.”