Outgoing world champion Ott Tanak says he learned plenty of lessons from his inaugural season at Hyundai Motorsport to carry forward into 2021.
The Estonian finished third in the standings after four podiums and a win from seven rallies during an FIA World Rally Championship campaign that was truncated by the global pandemic.
“It’s been a tricky year to get know a new team as the year has been short. Obviously, we’ve not been too much together,” explained Ott Tanak, who started last week’s ACI Rally Monza with an outside chance of the drivers’ title.
“The season generally has been cut quite short, but definitely we’ve learned a lot, taken quite many lessons. And now [it’s] very important to put this into practice next year.”
His first campaign with the German-based squad ended with Hyundai retaining the manufacturers’ crown, but Ott Tanak admitted the year was not plain sailing.
“I certainly won’t forget my first season as a Hyundai Motorsport driver. We had some high points, like my first win for the team in Estonia, but unfortunately we had a few bad moments too,” said Ott Tanak, who had a massive crash in the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo.
“Still, I am pleased to be a part of this team and to share in this manufacturers’ title. I was impressed by how everyone responded to the very difficult challenge of the pandemic and this is the result of that hard work and determination.
“I’m looking forward to next year and I definitely want to get back also my drivers’ title.”
Tänak and team-mate Thierry Neuville will again be partnered by Dani Sordo and Craig Breen next year. The team announced on Wednesday (9 December) that Sordo and Breen will share the third factory i20.