WRC: Ford's rally future in question.
Although the factory-backed M-Sport team has started work on an S2000-class Fiesta--which would form the basis of the next generation of a Ford World Rally car--the company has yet to commit to spending the funds needed to develop and run the car as a factory program. If Ford quits, then M-Sport would have the option to run the Fiesta as a private team on a commercial basis.
At a rallies commission meeting in Paris last week, Ford was not able to commit one way or another to next year's championship.
Citroën--the only other manufacturer in this year's WRC--is also reluctant to commit so far, pending the decision of both Ford and Citroën's star driver Sébastien Loeb about their futures in the sport.
A source at the meeting said: "As things stand at the moment, neither of the two manufacturers have firmly committed for 2010, which is extremely worrying. But when [FIA president] Max Mosley said that he thought the WRC should become a sport for private teams, maybe he saw this coming."
Publicly, Citroën insists that it is "likely" to continue in the WRC beyond the end of this year, but it has not issued an official statement confirming the its commitment.