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Tanak has "bigger things to worry about" than WRC points deficit

Ott Tanak says he has bigger things to worry about than World Rally Championship points, admitting that he “needs to get his consistency back” after a rough start to 2024.

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

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The Hyundai driver was tipped among the title contenders this year, but his championship push is yet to ignite, with the Estonian without a podium after three rounds.

Tanak finished fourth overall in January’s Monte Carlo opener after a costly mistake on the Friday and then crashed out of the following round in Sweden, where he salvaged only six points under super rally regulations.

Tanak was unfortunate to crash out of second position at Safari Rally Kenya last weekend when he was unable to avoid a rock lying in the middle of the road in stage six that sent his i20 N into a bank.

The 2019 world champion did however benefit from the WRC’s new points system to claim 12 points after topping Sunday’s classification and finishing second on the Power Stage.

Already 34 points adrift of championship leader, team-mate Thiery Neuville, Tanak says the most important objective is to find his form. 

 “Obviously, I have some bigger things to worry about than the points at the moment,” said Tanak.

“It seems like we really need to get our consistency back. Whatever happened on the Friday, there was really no other option to save it so there was no chance this time. In Sweden and Monte Carlo, they were clearly my mistakes which normally I shouldn’t do and haven’t done [previously].

“The target here [in Kenya] was just have a clean run with no trouble and we managed to get through without any punctures or things, but unfortunately this one rock cost us a lot.

“We want to get back on track; the championship is very young, but we need to get back into our normal rhythm.

“It was surprisingly a good points haul considering we retired [in Kenya]. That’s the new system [for you].”

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Tanak will be eager to find form when the WRC heads to Croatia’s asphalt stages from 18-21 April.

Hyundai team principal Cyril Abiteboul made it clear at the start of the season that the team doesn’t have a defined number one driver this year unlike last season.

However, the former Renault Formula 1 boss confirmed that at that some point in the season the team will likely have to make the decision to support one of its title hopefuls over the other.

Watch: Safari Rally Kenya Sunday afternoon highlights

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