Sat 12 Feb 2022

Tänak: ‘the potential is there’

Former champion Ott Tänak remains confident he has the pace to fight at the sharp end of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship.

The Estonian retired from last month’s Rallye Monte-Carlo after damaging his Hyundai i20 N’s radiator when he went off the road in the Saint-Geniez / Thoard speed test.

But, ahead of this month’s second round in Sweden, Tänak believes he saw enough to know there’s good speed in Hyundai Motorsport’s new hybrid-powered challenger.

“The car will be fast,” he said. “In pure performance, I’m sure the potential is there.

“Don’t forget, in Monte we were carrying some other issues and we never really got to see the full speed and potential for the car. When we can get rid of those issues, then we will see more clearly where we are.

“When the conditions were a bit more tricky, more complicated, I think it was possible to compare this car with the competition. We were competitive.”

Tänak will be looking for a similar round two recovery to 12 months ago, when he went from no points to an Arctic Rally Finland win in the snow.

He is joined at Rally Sweden’s new Umeå home by Thierry Neuville and Oliver Solberg, as Hyundai looks to bounce back from a disappointing season-opener in which Neuville was the only driver to put points on the board in sixth place.

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