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Q&A - Malcolm Wilson, Ford World Rally Team

A lot of people when Mikko moved to Citroen thought we would see Sebastien Ogier replace him – did discussions take place before he went with VW?

Malcolm Wilson:
There is no question we were in discussion with Sebastien and that was one of my targets, to try and pair Jari-Matti and Sebastien together in the team. Sadly, things couldn't go in that direction due to the financial situation and then he had the offer to go with VW. We wish him well but at the end of the day, we are very happy with our driver line-up for this year and have a strong team to challenge for both titles.

Q:
M-Sport is more than just the works Ford team, you run your other WRC cars as well. What's the state of play at the moment?

Malcolm Wilson:
A lot of it is still ongoing discussion. We have one team entered by M-Sport and that will contest of Ott Tanak doing all 13 events as the lead driver. At the moment, Evgeny Novikov is entered in that team for Monte Carlo and Sweden and that combination might change as the season goes on. We are still in discussions with sponsors for Matthew [Wilson] and Henning [Solberg] and of course there will be other private drivers in the team as well - Mads Ostberg will be back from Sweden. There are a lot of exciting young drivers coming through who will be in Fiestas.

Q:
When you throw the other Fiesta cars outside the WRC machine into the mix, how busy does the whole Ford programme keep you?

Malcolm Wilson:
The fact is that have 230 employees in Cockermouth and another 15 at our branch in Poland, which runs the FIA Academy R2 Fiestas, and we run various Fiesta one-make championships around the world. We have sold 46 or 47 Fiesta S2000 models that have been really successful in various championships around the globe, but is what we wanted to create and what Ford wanted us to create. They wanted a ladder where a driver could start in a Fiesta in a small formula and go all the way to the WRC car. There are more exciting models coming in the future which is great for us and for the sport, and also for the competitors as it shows Ford is committed to the sport.

Q:
You went close last year so is this the year where you end Sebastien Loeb's astonishing run of success?

Malcolm Wilson:
I think we saw last year that there are possibilities. There is no question that Jari-Matti had Sebastien in a position he hasn't been in for a long time on Rally GB and of course Jari's performance on tarmac has improved – although with Sebastien's record on tarmac I wouldn't be so brave as to say he is going to win all the events there. However, I definitely think he can mount a strong challenge of those asphalt rallies and on the gravel rallies, if he can continue where he left of in GB, I don't see any reason why he can't challenge. In my eyes, he has to be one of the favourites for the gravel events.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ford of Europe motorsport chief Gerard Quinn and Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson unveil the new-for-2012 colour scheme on the team’s Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car at the Autosport International Show [Pic credit: Ford]
Kajetan Kajetanowicz - LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5
Kajetan Kajetanowicz - LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5
Petter Solberg edges Mattias Ekstrom by 5/1000ths of a second in the German round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship
Yazeed Al-Rahji - Ford Fiesta RRC
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport

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