As the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team embarks upon the new hybrid era of the World Rally Championship, check out M-Sport’s ‘Quick Facts’ ahead of 2022 Rallye Monte Carlo:
The new season marks the beginning of the hybrid era and the launch of a new car with its striking electric-inspired livery, and the team at M-Sport are excited for the challenges ahead and the promise of a competitive season.
This year’s Rally1 cars house a 100kW hybrid unit coupled to a 1.6-litre turbocharge internal combustion engine that uses 100% renewable fuel for the first time in the sport’s history.
The traditional season opener will take place over four days, with the service park for this year based throughout the event in the Monaco harbour area.
The added challenge of using hybrid in competition for the first time is further enhanced with no mid-day service point on any of the event days.
2022 sees Irishmen Craig Breen and Paul Nagle head-up the M-Sport team alongside Adrien Fourmaux and Alexandre Coria and, Gus Greensmith and Jonas Andersson.
Nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb will also join M-Sport’s ranks with Isabelle Galmiche as his co-driver currently as a one off drive on the iconic season opener.
The team will enjoy a diverse range of experience as young, fresh talent is combined with the knowledge of the sport’s most decorated driver.
Throughout the 2022 season, the M-Sport and Ford will be celebrating 25 years of partnership and competing in the FIA World Rally Championship. This landmark anniversary has seen the team take three manufacturer’s titles for Ford and a combined total of seven FIA world titles when including Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ titles. The pairing has also claimed 61 victories and a record breaking 268 consecutive points scoring events to date.
Team Quotes Rich Millener, Team Principal, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, said: “There has been a huge amount of anticipation leading up to Monte-Carlo, both internally and from the fans, so we’re really excited to finally get out there and show everyone what we have been working on so hard over the past 18 months. An exceptional amount of work has been put in to get the cars ready to rally, and of course there are going to be challenges when you’ve got a new car, but we’re feeling very happy with the position we are in as we head into the first event of the year. “We’re really happy and excited about our line-up for this season; Craig joining us for his first full season has obviously been significant and he has played a big role in testing the car and providing feedback to the team. We’re pleased to be keeping on Gus and Adrien for full seasons as well as they gain more experience in WRC and I expect them to be challenging for some great results during the season. Séb Loeb joining us is a dream come true for many at M-Sport, and we know all the other drivers will get to benefit from his experience in Monte Carlo. We have done all we can to put us into the best position possible for the season opener, now it’s down to our crews to show us what they can do!” Sebastien Loeb “It's a radical change of scenery after spending three weeks on the Dakar Rally but it's still very exciting to be at the start of the Monte Carlo Rally, especially with the WRC’s new hybrid era.
“I'm also proud of this collaboration with Malcolm's team, working with them has been talked about throughout my career but never quite managed to happen, so thank you all, M-Sport, Ford Performance and Red Bull for finally making this happen on such an amazing event.
“For this rally, I will certainly be less prepared than the other drivers but the feeling with the Puma Hybrid Rally1 was immediately very good and everything just came together. I am looking forward to having fun this weekend with Isabelle, my new co-driver, and the whole M-Sport team.” Craig Breen “It is always something very special competing on Rallye Monte Carlo, but to be doing it for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, is a dream come true! The team has done an unbelievable job building and developing the Puma Hybrid Rally1 and it really shows. It is by far the best rally car I have ever driven and with the addition of the hybrid unit, it is going to add another dimension to the rally. Paul and I are relishing the challenge and are really looking forward to the year ahead with M-Sport and Ford.” Adrien Fourmaux “For Rallye Monte-Carlo, we will try do do our best, feel the car and understand its level of performance compared to the others. It will be the first time here in the top category of the WRC, I have been here previously in the Fiesta Rally2, my first appearance was already a top ten overall finish! I love these roads, I have performed quite well in the past so I have good hopes. By the way it's a new era for everyone so we'll need the perfect match between the car's reliability and driving skill to perform well until the end of the rally. We hope to deliver the best result as we can, everything is possible!” Gus Greensmith “I’m excited to be a part of the 2022 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team as we head into the most significant rule change in WRC history. The team has done a great job developing the new car, and I feel really comfortable driving it. We’re all confident the car should be a lot more competitive than recent years, which will hopefully give us more opportunities to fight near the front. I was happy with my improvements last season, and I want to build on that going into 2022. I was within a second of my first stage win last year, and I feel that with the new package, this is definitely an achievable goal, and we also want to try to push for our first podium as well. Monte Carlo has always been a tricky opener for the championship, but I have done the rally a few times now, and with the new car feeling so good, I am really looking forward to the challenge. It will be essential to build the speed throughout the weekend, especially with this being Jonas and I’s second rally together. Thanks again to all the team for all the hard work they have put into the Puma Hybrid Rally1, and I hope we can repay them with a good result in Monte.”
Published 18th January 2022