M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson has admitted breaking the news of Ford's departure to his M-Sport workforce was the hardest thing he's ever had to do in the sport.
Wilson explained the situation to his 230-strong staff in Cumbria, UK as Ford was announcing its decision to the wider world. Wilson has revealed that only five members of staff at M-Sport knew of Ford's intentions before Monday.
"There was complete shock, total shock," said Wilson. "There was nobody in the company – apart from the five people who knew – who saw this coming. But you can't believe how everybody has rallied around since the news.
"I have been touched from both within the company and outside of M-Sport by the support we've had from everybody. Put it this way, we've had 10 times the number of messages that we had when we won the world championships. It's been unbelievable. They've been non-stop and they've gone way beyond what I thought everybody thought about us.
"We've got a great product and now I've just got to get up and work a bit harder."
While admitting that his focus remains firmly on securing the funding to continue next season, Wilson admitted he would be open to talking to other manufacturers.