Ford recently confirmed its commitment to the WRC for four years, but the team’s lead driver, Markko Martin, has hinted that he will move to another team, probably Peugeot Sport, next year.

Ford recently confirmed its commitment to the WRC for four years, but the team’s lead driver, Markko Martin, has hinted that he will move to another team, probably Peugeot Sport, next year.


The Estonian superstar recently suggested he would leave Ford at the end of the year. Martin has long been linked to a move to Peugeot, but no announcement has been made.


Following the news that Peugeot and Citroën will quit the World Rally Championship at the end of 2005, many wonder whether Martin would be keen to leave Ford for a team that will only be in the sport for another 12 months.


Martin’s Ford team-mate, Francois Duval, had been approached by the Blue Oval to sign a long-term deal to lead the team, but has instead opted to join Citroën – a surprise move which has furthered speculation about who will lead the Ford team in 2005 and raised more questions about who Martin will be driving for.


“Retiring so early in any rally is always a big disappointment,” Martin said in his Telstra Rally Australia column in . “But to have that happen on what will be our last rally for Ford before we switch teams for next season was doubly so. I’ve spent the last three years with the Ford team and I’m sad about leaving.


“There have been some fantastic results, some bad ones, some good luck and some bad, but a lot of fun along the way. Now it’s time to get back to Europe and start to think about the next challenge – working with new people and a new team.


"When I started out in the WRC, I had three main aims. One was to win in Finland – I did that last year. The next was to win on asphalt – I did that twice this year. I also want to win the championship. I achieved two out of three with Ford, but now it’s time to start building towards that objective next season.”