Tanak retires from Monte Carlo as Hyundai’s “tough” WRC Rally1 debut worsens

Ott Tanak won’t return to the Monte Carlo Rally to fight for World Rally Championship power stage points on Sunday as Hyundai’s “tough" Rally1 debut continues.

Tanak retires from Monte Carlo as Hyundai’s “tough” WRC Rally1 debut worsens

The Korean marque endured a day to forget as all three of its drivers struck trouble during Saturday’s five stages, leaving only two cars remaining to fight for the minor points paying positions.

After starting the day in fifth, Tanak was forced to retire from the action following an eventful morning loop of stages where he suffered two punctures and a crash.

The 2019 world champion, carrying only one spare tyre, suffered a left rear puncture on the first stage, which left him vulnerable, and then a decision to run slicks on the snow and ice of Sisteron proved his undoing.

Tanak slid on the ice into a bank damaging the front of his i20 N before then picking up a front right puncture once he got going again. The issues were made worse given crews were without a midday service to repair the cars as per the Monte Carlo Rally format.

After assessing the car once back in the service on Saturday evening, the team confirmed Tanak would be unable to continue.

“The puncture on the first stage was one of those things that happen," said Tanak.

“We continued but with no spare tyre left we had to keep things as tidy as possible. Unfortunately, in the final stage on the icy conditions, we made a very small, but ultimately costly mistake.

“We picked up some damage and that was it. We were leaking coolant and the engine was overheating so we had to stop the car on the road section.

“Unfortunately, we won’t be able to continue tomorrow but we are committed to learning from this challenging weekend to build for the rest of the season.”

Hyundai’s deputy team director Julien Moncet said the tyre decision was a “risky” but a calculated choice.

“It was a common decision,” Moncet told Autosport. “I would say it was 50:50 but it was a risky choice but a calculated one, but unfortunately it did not pay off.

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

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

Photo by: Romain Thuillier / Hyundai Motorsport

“It has been a tough day and obviously not the results we were expecting when we started this morning after the encouraging day yesterday.”

Hyundai’s fortunes worsened as fourth-placed Thierry Neuville suffered a front right damper issue that forced the Belgian to a crawl and ultimately a roadside repair with use of cable ties.

Neuville reached service in sixth overall, although seven minutes and 44 seconds adrift of rally leader Sebastien Ogier.

The third entry piloted by Oliver Solberg was also involved in an off-track excursion that was caused in part by the 20-year-old's loss of concentration due to exhaust fumes entering the cockpit.

Solberg had been battling the problem on Friday revealing that he was feeling dizzy and had pains in chest. Hyundai attempted to fix the issue overnight but the problem continued on Saturday.

The team monitored the situation closely but Solberg and the team agreed to continue. Moncet confirmed that they will attempt to find another fix for tomorrow.

“We were asking him, it is not a one-way decision, we worked together on this one because we are not sitting in the cars,” he added.

“We have done everything we can to be as healthy as possible,” said Solberg when asked how he was feeling after returning to the service park.

“I’m still feeling a bit dizzy and it is not straight on point, but it is okay.”

shares
comments

Related video

Ogier "cannot relax" in intense WRC Monte Carlo battle with Loeb
Previous article

Ogier "cannot relax" in intense WRC Monte Carlo battle with Loeb

Next article

Evans “pretty frustrated” to lose WRC Monte Carlo podium shot to mistake

Evans “pretty frustrated” to lose WRC Monte Carlo podium shot to mistake
How Toyota transformed an F1 hopeful into a factory WRC driver Plus

How Toyota transformed an F1 hopeful into a factory WRC driver

Having originally started out in karting and single-seaters to follow his dream of making it to Formula 1, Takamoto Katsuta's career instead changed course into the world of rallying. A breakthrough 2022 WRC season has lifted Katsuta into Toyota's factory line-up - but it's been a long road to the top level

WRC
Dec 7, 2022
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022

The World Rally Championship welcomed in a new hybrid era in 2022, presenting an unknown challenge to the planet's top rally aces. New records were broken, as Toyota's leading charge became the youngest-ever title-winner, while familiar returning faces mixed it up with the new generation. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers from the year

WRC
Dec 5, 2022
The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title Plus

The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title

With only cameo roles played by legendary Sebastiens Ogier and Loeb, Kalle Rovanpera ushered in the new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship by becoming its youngest champion. Here's how Toyota's Flying Finn crushed the competition, led by Hyundai's departing star Ott Tanak

WRC
Dec 1, 2022
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Plus

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Plus

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Plus

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Plus

Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers are no less demanding. Autosport got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Plus

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022