The Spanish driver will compete in the next round of the Arabian event with the Ford Performance team, in which Nani Roma will also be driving another Ford Raptor.

Carlos Sainz: “I’m very excited about this new Dakar Rally project. To be back working with Ford for the fourth time, and to be back at M-Sport, with Malcolm Wilson, who I know very well, is really great. My history with Ford goes back to ’87, and I think I was Malcolm’s first factory driver and I’m very proud of that. I’m excited to drive the Raptor and achieve a lot of goals in this big challenge. One of them is to help Ford win the Dakar Rally.”

Matthew Wilson, M-Sport director and Dakar team manager: “Carlos is a legend of our sport and one of the most successful drivers in all formats of off-road racing. His decision to return to Ford and M-Sport after so many years is a great boost for the team and it’s great to have him back in the extended Ford family, ready to take on the huge challenge of the Dakar. With training already underway, we have a great opportunity to learn from the best and push the development of the Ford Raptor even further.”