Tanak expects "more promising" second year at Hyundai

Ott Tanak says he is confident of giving a better account of himself in his second WRC season at Hyundai after a disappointing title defence in 2020.

Tanak expects "more promising" second year at Hyundai
Listen to this article

The Estonian caught many paddock figures off guard when he decided to leave Toyota in the middle of his title-winning 2019 campaign and join Thierry Neuville at Hyundai.

The year didn't get off to the best of starts with a scary high-speed accident on his debut for the Korean manufacturer on the Monte Carlo Rally, but Tanak regrouped to finish runner-up in Sweden and Mexico, before winning on home soil when the WRC reconvened after a six-month COVID-induced delay in Estonia.

A steering issue in Turkey that resulted in a second non-score derailed his title hopes, but another second place in the season-ending Rally Monza helped him to finish ahead of Neuville as the best-ranking Hyundai in third.

As his opportunities to acclimatise to the team were so limited in 2020, Tanak believes he can make a step forward and enjoy a "much more promising" season in 2021.

Read Also:

Speaking ahead of the 2021 Monte, Tanak said: “The second season always gets easier. We already have an idea which way we need to go in 2021 – the break has been very good for us.

“It has given us the time to go through the first year and find ways to get more comfortable in the car.

“Also, this year, we are going to places that we have already been to before, so we have an idea of where we were struggling before and how we can improve things going forward.

"All of this together, I believe that it is definitely going to be a much more promising season than a year ago.”

Tanak agreed with comments made by Toyota's Sebastien Ogier earlier this week when he said the title race is wide open and believes quickly understanding how Pirelli’s new tyre compounds work under specific conditions will be key to a strong showing.

“With the tyres it is really open for everyone, I guess,” he admitted. “During the test, normally you can spot something [that works in your favour] but to experience everything before the rally is impossible.

"Most of the learning we will do, we will do it during the year. I guess we just have to do it quickly!”

shares
comments

Related video

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021
Previous article

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

Next article

Evans: Safety-first approach won't win WRC title

Evans: Safety-first approach won't win WRC title
Load comments
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Prime

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Prime

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Prime

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Prime

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Motorsport.com donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the life of a rally mechanic.

WRC
Apr 17, 2022
The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer Prime

The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer

Taking his first step into the Junior World Rally Championship category, McRae Kimathi - named after 1995 world champion Colin - found himself in the unfamiliar climes of Sweden's snow and ice. Having impressed, Kimathi hopes to blaze a trail to the top level of WRC and help other African drivers to step onto the ladder

WRC
Mar 8, 2022
How Rovanpera grabbed the Rally Sweden spotlight Prime

How Rovanpera grabbed the Rally Sweden spotlight

After a blockbuster opening act to the new era of the World Rally Championship with the battle of the Sebastiens at Monte Carlo, Rally Sweden would be the first chance to assess the next superstar of rallying. While teething issues with the new hybrid power thwarted some of the cast, Kalle Rovanpera’s display gave him headline billing

WRC
Feb 28, 2022
The "painful" journey behind the WRC's generational tech innovation Prime

The "painful" journey behind the WRC's generational tech innovation

As the company selected to provide the hybrid kits for the 2022 World Rally Championship, the pressure was on Compact Dynamics at the Monte Carlo season opener. Needing to treat all three manufacturers equally, it wasn't a straightforward process, but its first big test was a resounding success that bodes well for the future.

WRC
Feb 25, 2022
The mentality shift key to Lappi’s shot at WRC redemption Prime

The mentality shift key to Lappi’s shot at WRC redemption

He appeared poised to become the World Rally Championship’s new bright young star five years ago, but Esapekka Lappi's fortunes since his 2017 breakthrough win offer a cautionary tale of how the tables can turn. Now having rebuilt his career, the Finn is determined to make the most of his second shot at the big time with Toyota.

WRC
Feb 23, 2022