Estonian rally ace Ott Tänak, who is set to leave M-Sport Ford at the end of the season to rejoin Hyundai, told Finnish rally portal rallit.fi that M-Sport did not offer him a new contract.
Tänak told rallit.fi, that while there had been talk of extending his contract, he did not receive any offers. "I only had a one-year contract and was not offered an extension. So I just didn't have a contract for the next year. In the meantime, we discussed it, but in reality, continuing with M-Sport was not really an option," Tänak said.
Next season, Tänak will drive for Hyundai once again. According to the Estonian, one of the reasons that convinced him to rejoin was the team's new manager Cyril Abiteboul.
"They seem to have a clear vision and concrete goals. And it's not just talk, because the work has already been done in the background. They are working hard to achieve their goals. Cyril made his vision and objectives clear during the negotiations. So the negotiations were quite straightforward," Tänak added.
M-Sport Ford chief Richard Millener had indicated that his team wanted to continue working with Tänak. "Nobody wants to lose Ott. He's one of the best, if not the best, driver in the World Championship series, but we have to be mature and accept that he wants to move on. Ott knows he still has a real chance of winning the title. If he feels that a team change is the best move for him, we are not going to stop him," said Millener.
Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja will make their last appearance of the season next week in Japan.
Editor: Michael Cole