Juho Hanninen, Thierry Neuville, Evgeny Novikov and Petter Solberg have all been linked to the drive by British titles Autosport and Motorsport News with team boss Malcolm Wilson insisting he won’t be rushing into a decision.
“I’ve got some time now and I’m going to take it,” said Wilson. “We’ve still got plenty to sort out before we get around to announcing who it’ll be. The one thing I will say is that my preference is to have one driver doing all the rallies, this is better for consistency and for the fight for the championship.”
Hanninen is the latest driver to enter the frame, at least for the first two rounds in Monte-Carlo and Sweden. The Finn, who won the European championship at his first attempt in 2012 having triumphed in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship in 2010 and 2011 respectively, has left Skoda Motorsport following a four-year stint with the Czech make.
“My goal has always been to drive and compete at the highest level and now there is the chance with M-Sport,” the Finn told Autosport.com.