Monday | 07 Jun 2021

Tänak plans new approach after Italy retirement

Ott Tänak will follow a different strategy for the remainder of the FIA World Rally Championship season after retiring from the lead for the second time in consecutive rallies in Italy last weekend.

The Estonian lies 57 points adrift of championship leader Sébastien Ogier with seven of the 12 rounds remaining. He lost a comfortable lead at Rally Italia Sardegna on Saturday when he hit a rock and ripped the right rear wheel from his Hyundai i20.

It follows a similar disappointment last month when shattered suspension forced him out of Vodafone Rally de Portugal when heading for victory.

“There is nothing much to look at anymore,” he said. “Obviously it’s nothing you can change yourself, so for us it’s pretty much like, race-by-race and everywhere we go we try the maximum. I guess end of the year we see if that was enough or not.”

Tänak refused to apportion blame following his Italian disappointment that left him trailing 28 points behind third-placed Thierry Neuville in the points standings.

Video: Rally Italia Sardegna - Tänak retirement

He spoke of the unity in the team and the i20’s pace after he and team-mate Dani Sordo dominated the opening day in Sardinia, winning all eight speed tests.

“It’s good to feel we had the speed and we can control in places,” said Tänak. “The team has helped me a lot and they are really behind to help me to get used to the car and now this year we have done some steps as well. I feel the car is fast, just needs a little more reliability.”