Future Drivers Lineup of FIA WRC 2023: Thoughts

Ott Tanak recently announced his contractual disengagement with Hyundai Motorsport's WRC program at the end of 2022 season. After having his 'difficult seasons' with his current employer, the 2019 WRC Champion driver decides to leave them with a good note than ending in bitterness.

Although unsure where he would land up for the next season, he surely has broken ties with the South Korean car maker brand. Going by his statements of dissatisfaction with this team time-to-time in the past couple of years, his breaking up with the German backed Hyundai Motorsport GmbH more or less was anticipated by many of his fans and followers.

His next probable seat could be at M-Sport, as their drivers lineup seems to be in a disarray with many costly retirements yielding no satisfactory results with the Ford Puma WRC, as well as because of his good acquaintance with his former boss Malcom Wilson. The Japanese auto maker Toyota, with their Finnish WRC Motorsport outfit, Toyota Gazoo WRT could be less likely to hire their former champion driver as their driver's line up seems full with all the needed talent.

Toyota with their recent successes both in securing the driver's and manufacturer's championship titles, adding another champion material would definitely help them in terms of redundancy, as well as to crush their competitors by sucking away the talent from being 'available' to 'secured'. Sebastien Ogier's name is heard to return for a full-season next year, if so, then having three drivers in the same team fighting for the championship would be more of a trouble than help.

Hyundai's recent announcement to drop Oliver Solberg for 2023 in search of an 'experienced driver' more or less secures the seats for Dani Sordo & Thierry Neuville. A third seat for their 3rd car (or their first car) would set fire to the drivers hunting season. Ogier could be it, as Hyundai surely needs a time-tested champion material. Elfyn Evans has got the pace and the experience, but hasn't collected enough podium trophies for the number of outings he had so far compared to the established champions.

Ott having worked with all the three teams in the current season definitely knows the benefits / disadvantages of each one of them, and would be waiting for a better offer amongst the available two. It would be interesting to watch his next move to gain an official seat for the upcoming year.

Kalle Rovenpera, the new & young champion with his home team is less likely to be looking forward for a change, however, we never know. The musical chair of drivers is more likely to gain momentum at the end of the season, until then let's wait and watch!

What are your thoughts on the future of WRC drivers lineup? 

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