McRae or Sainz will most likely leave Ford this year.
Colin McRae has made it plain that he is reluctant to accept any kind of pay cut as works rally teams face making economies, but emphasised that he wasn’t ruling out a fresh deal with Ford.
Substantial North American losses could make it difficult for Ford to retain McRae and Carlos Sainz as well as Markko Martin and Francois Duval next year. If one of the “senior” drivers is released, Citroen is angling for a recognised star to drive the Xsara in its first full World Championship campaign and might have more room for financial manoeuvre.
Asked if he would accept a pay cut to continue with Ford, McRae answered, “It goes against the grain, doesn’t it? [Ford Motorsport Director] Martin Whitaker made comments about they were responsible for upping the drivers’ fees, which is all good and well, but at the end of the day, they did it, they set the standard, so why should we come back down? There’s always other options: there’s other additional sponsors, there’s freeing up what you’re allowed to put on the car, there’s overalls. There’s lots and lots of stuff that can be done to rectify it. Obviously, you don’t want to end up doing the same job for less money.”
McRae – who earns over £3,000,000 per year – said that pay is not his overriding consideration.
“The deal on the car’s got to be right and it’s got to look like it can win the championship. I think the only car really if you have to make a choice at the moment is a Peugeot, isn’t it? But it’s all swings and roundabouts. We’ve quite a lot of work to do and Ford have got a new car next year,” he added.
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