Mon 05 Feb 2024

Tänak aims to unlock i20 N’s full potential

Ott Tänak is optimistic about the strengths of Hyundai’s i20 N Rally1, but admits he needs to better understand the car in order to extract maximum performance from it.

Tänak is back with Hyundai Motorsport this season having spent last year driving for British-based M-Sport Ford. The Korean manufacturer squad’s i20 N Rally1 has undergone a host of technical upgrades since Tänak previously drove for the team in 2022.


Co-driven by Martin Järveoja, Tänak finished a respectable fourth overall at the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo. Despite challenges, like sliding into an icy ditch and a mysterious throttle issue, Tänak sees the car's competitiveness.


“I would say the car is definitely not bad,” he commented after round one, which was won by team-mate Thierry Neuville. “Obviously it’s very competitive and it has some very strong points. Some things, let’s say, I didn’t know before coming to [Monte-Carlo], and obviously there was a lot more Tarmac here than we had in the test beforehand.

“Without the experience, it’s very difficult to make the right calls, but I would say in the end we were not too wrong as well. The car is behaving well, actually. It’s much more in the window [of performance]. I just need to understand it, how and what it likes.”


Tänak faces a different challenge next week as the WRC heads to Rally Sweden (15 – 18 February) – an event he won last year.


The 36-year-old has had two days of testing prior to the Umeå-based counter, which is the only pure winter rally on the calendar.


“We’ll see how we are,” he mused. “But you know, with these [tests], you only drive on some four-kilometre road and that’s it. When you go to the rally, everything starts to get different.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM