The Ford team has struggled for results in recent months, with the last podium in June thanks to Craig Breensecond place in Sardinia.

The team’s fortunes did not improve this weekend in Belgium as all three Breen drivers, Gus Greensmith and Adrienne Furmaux were involved in costly incidents.

Breen was running fifth when a mistake on the 10th stage of the tarmac rally led to a spectacular crash, the team leader’s third crash in the last three events.

At the same stage, Greensmith went off the road and into the field, damaging the left rear, which cost the Briton several minutes and eventually finished outside the points in 19th place overall.

That left Furmeaux as the best runner up front the Frenchman threw away a comfortable fifth place, crashing out of the penultimate stage of the rally when he nearly flipped his Puma after hitting a ditch. The crash was the fifth retirement in nine events.

M-Sport started the year leading the manufacturers’ championship after Sébastien Loeb’s victory in Monte Carlo, which was backed up by third for Breen and fifth for Greensmith.

Since then, the team has scored just one podium and recorded three more top-five finishes from its roster of three full-time and two part-time.

Adrien Fourmaux, Alexander Coria, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Photo: M-Sport

M-Sport team principal Richard Millener is backing his team and its Ford Puma, but admits the current form is not good enough.

While he ruled out the need for rash decisions, he indicated that the team will regroup to discuss their plan going forward.

“It’s part of the rally, it can happen, but the unluckiness that we have or the mistakes that are made don’t help anybody,” Millener said.

“I still support the team, I still support the car, we have to work together again, there is no point fighting with each other inside. We need to get better results, simple as that.

“Very difficult, you put them [the drivers] under pressure to do better, it doesn’t work. You don’t force them to just have fun, it didn’t work.

“But it’s all interconnected, at the end of the day it’s not just about M-Sport, there are a lot of partners to make this happen and if you want to be an absolutely negative person, you can say that some of those partners have decided that it’s not working for them and the funding goes, then it becomes very, very difficult for us. After all, they have to work with us.

“The car has won the WRC, so the car is not bad.

“I wouldn’t want to make any decisions at this point because when things like this happen, your emotions can overtake what is potentially the best option.

“I think we definitely need to regroup early in the week, but wait until then to decide anything, if anything.”

Asked if there had been any discussions with other riders about running Puma, he said: “No. Not at the moment, no.

“We have six vehicles registered in Greece, which is a big task in itself. So we need to sit down, we don’t know what the damage is to Adrien’s car, unfortunately it looks like it hit a telegraph pole, which would definitely do some damage.

“But I think we just need a couple of days to sit down, regroup, look at the facts, not make rash decisions and then go from there.”

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