The M-Sport Ford World Rally team is in Monte Carlo for the start of the 2023 World Rally Championship (WRC) season, complete with a new driver line-up it hopes will palm in this year's crown.
The team's lead driver is Ott Tänak, a familiar name and face that's been involved in WRC since 2010. Having driven for M-Sport, Toyota Gazoo Racing, and Hyundai Motorsport, the Estonian returns to the team that first gave him his WRC break.
Tänak said: "Our target for the upcoming season is nothing less than the World Championship title, and a team like M-Sport Ford and their partner Red Bull gives us extra support to achieve the goals we have set."
Tänak won the 2019 WRC title racing for Toyota Gazoo Racing, before announcing a shock move to Hyundai Motorsport in 2020. Despite three victories in 2022, Tänak opted to join the M-Sport Ford World Rally squad again.
Joining Tänak is Pierre-Louis Loubet, who will be making his full-time WRC debut. Having completed his first rally in 2015, Loubet has been showing good promise in the Junior WRC standings, climbing the categories and winning the WRC2 title in 2019.
The M-Sport Ford World Rally team is eager to see what the Frenchman can do racing the Puma Hybrid Rally1 car, producing more than 375kW and 550Nm from its turbo-hybrid 1.6-litre petrol engine.
"We have worked very hard over the last few years to get these opportunities, now it's up to me to repay the trust placed in me," said Loubet.
"With a first full season in the WRC, M-Sport, and a Puma Hybrid Rally 1 that I know well and the support of Red Bull and my partners, I have the perfect package to continue my ascent."
The 2023 World Rally Championship season kicks off this weekend in Monte Carlo.