M-Sport World Rally Team boss Malcolm Wilson hailed the performance of world champion Sébastien Ogier after the Frenchman delivered the team’s first WRC victory for more than four years at Rallye Monte-Carlo on Sunday.
Ogier joined the British squad just over a month ago following Volkswagen’s withdrawal from the championship. Despite limited testing in M-Sport’s new Ford Fiesta, he scored a debut victory in the season-opener, his fourth consecutive Monte-Carlo win.
“I can’t put into words the feeling for the whole team,” said Wilson, whose last win was at Rally GB in 2012. “Obviously to get Sébastien on board was an incredible feeling for me personally and this is the boost we needed as a company.
“Seb’s got a rally under his belt now so he can really start to understand the car. I know there will be a lot of good feedback from him and that helps to bring that new perspective and ideas to a team.”
Ogier’s late arrival at M-Sport meant he tested the Fiesta for only a day-and-a-half in the French Alps ahead of the rally, described as the most complex Monte for 20 years due to the mix of snow, ice and asphalt.
He will have two more days in the car ahead of next month’s Rally Sweden (9 - 12 February) during a test shared with team-mates Ott Tänak and Elfyn Evans. All three drivers won stages in Monte-Carlo.
“The thing that satisfies me more than anything else is that all three drivers set fastest times,” added Wilson. “That gives me a lot of confidence. We have a great base car to work from so we just need to keep working and pushing. I feel we can go to every rally and challenge for victory.”