At the unveiling of the Qatar M-Sport World Rally team’s 2013 car livery on Thursday, Wilson said that after a turbulent few months his British-based squad was in good shape ahead of the opening round in Monte Carlo, and he was excited to be working with drivers Mads Ostberg, Evgeny Novikov, Thierry Neuville and Nasser Al-Attiyah.
“We’re in great spirits but there’s no question we had a very difficult period about October time when Ford announced they were withdrawing their title sponsorship,” Wilson told wrc.com. “It put a lot of pressure on everybody, so it was a great relief when we got Qatar on board. Unfortunately we’ve had to make about 15 people redundant but the consequences could have been a lot worse.”
“We’ve restructured, we’ve regrouped and we’re very confident that we can come to the WRC with a strong challenge. We’ve got a very good driver line-up - including three of the most exciting young drivers. I love working with them, and love to see these guys develop, and I really believe that we can be in a position to win some events this year.”
The livery of the 2013 Fiesta RS WRC features prominent Qatar branding and burgundy coloured sections of bodywork. Under the skin, however, it is almost identical to the 2012 car.
“With homologation regulations it’s very difficult to change anything but you’re always evolving little things if you can,” Wilson explained. “There will be an evolution, hopefully, in the middle of the year, but we’re confident that we can remain competitive in the first few months and then see what happens.”