WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Bauhaus Royal Rally of Scandinavia
Starts: Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 PM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Fri 24 Feb 2023

Bertelli plans Puma return

Lorenzo Bertelli is hoping to be back in the FIA World Rally Championship later this year – and definitely back with the M-Sport Ford team.

The Italian’s affiliation with the British firm goes back more than a decade and, when the opportunity arose to drive with Toyota Gazoo Racing in Sweden earlier this month, he talked openly about the fact that he would be back in a Puma Rally1 Hybrid in the future.

“It was a great experience to drive with Toyota,” he said. “The opportunity came and I wanted to take it and I learned a lot from them. It was interesting to do things in a different way from M-Sport – I don’t say this is better or it’s worse, it was different.

“I think I can say, it’s sure I will be back with M-Sport again. You will see me in an M-Sport car again.”

Busy with the family fashion business, the 34-year-old admitted his rally programme had to fit in around his work schedule.

“Sweden was a holiday for me,” he smiled. “OK, I have some more holidays to take this year and it would be nice to be back out in the WRC again. Of course, Italy is always interesting, but I also love Greece. Right now, I have no plans.”

Regularly setting times inside the top 10, Bertelli’s GR Yaris Rally1 debut was spoiled by a visit to a Friday afternoon snowbank.

“These cars are not so easy to drive,” said Bertelli. “I think the previous [generation] was maybe easier. When I was testing before the rally, the times were much closer [to the Toyota factory drivers]. When I came to the rally, the drop [in time] was coming – I’m sure this is to do with my pace notes.”