The Hyundai Motorsport star has tested for two days since finishing third overall at Rally Estonia last month and admits his i20 N Rally1 has made a step forward since his home event.
Tänak was the quickest Hyundai driver in Thursday morning’s shakedown test and trailed Toyota pacesetter Kalle Rovanperä by nine-tenths of a second in third overall.
Despite showing early signs of being able to challenge for victory at this eighth round, the 34-year-old believes it will be difficult to fight with his GR Yaris rivals.
“We were able to make the car a bit better than we had it in Estonia,” he said. “I’m always aiming for the best result possible and that’s the same here. This is rallying and you never know what can happen.
“We know what they (Toyota) have and we saw this in Estonia. I tried hard in the first stage and already I was having some moments. This is not my way to be driving, I don’t drive naturally over the edge all of the time.
“To do those times, we had to be completely on it all the time and when you do that in a place like Finland it can bite you. At home in Estonia, you have some more open fields. If you go wide there, maybe it’s not so bad. If you do that in Finland then you can be into the trees.”
Tänak’s two previous Rally Finland wins were at the wheel of Toyota cars, although he came within 14 seconds of another victory with Hyundai last year. His only success so far this season was at Rally Italia Sardegna in June.
• Full coverage from Secto Rally Finland will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.