- Current FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) drivers’ champion Ott Tänak joins reigning manufacturers’ title holders Hyundai Motorsport for a full-season campaign in 2020
- Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja visited Hyundai Motorsport’s factory in Alzenau at the start of December, before a one-day test in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
- The Estonian crew will compete in their first WRC event for the team at Rallye Monte-Carlo, which takes place later this month (January 23-26).
- Hyundai Motorsport is gearing up to defend its manufacturers’ title in the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with a new crew line-up as reigning drivers’ champion Ott Tänak joins the team.
Tänak, together with his co-driver Martin Järveoja, got his first taste of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC during a one-day test in the Sisteron region of France last month (December 5). The crew had visited Hyundai Motorsport’s headquarters in Alzenau, Germany in advance of the test for a seat fitting and to meet members of the team.
The Estonian will join Thierry Neuville for a full-season campaign in 2020, while Dani Sordo and Sébastien Loeb will share a third car during the season. The scene is set for an exciting 2020 season with Rallye Monte-Carlo three weeks away.
Q+A with Ott Tänak
What have been your first impressions of Hyundai Motorsport since joining the team for 2020?
“I have found the team to be extremely passionate and focused. We definitely share the same hunger and aspirations. I am really looking forward to getting our season started at Rallye Monte-Carlo.”
You visited the factory in Alzenau for a seat fitting – did you have chance to meet everyone?
“In the short space of time that we had last month, we immediately got down to work and we were very busy straight away. Everyone has given us their full support. I still have many team members to get to know, but this is normal at the start of a new relationship.”
How was your first test in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC?
“I was positively surprised after my first run, and I felt good in the car. Each car has its own personality, but so far I can say that the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC is a strong all-round package. We have some more test days before Monte-Carlo, and we will be ready for the first challenge.”
What process do you follow when changing team?
“It’s never easy to change team as there’s a lot of work to do. Firstly, to get to know the people, then – of course – to make yourself comfortable in the car, while adapting to different conditions. We’ve been working closely with the team to be in the best possible shape for Monte-Carlo.”
What are the immediate and longer term objectives from your side?
“We have just won our first WRC title, but a new year means we start again from a blank sheet of paper. I will give all my experience to the team and together we will work hard to defend ours – and the team’s – titles. For Monte-Carlo, I am always looking for a consistent start, to begin the season with a good feeling. For the season, everything is possible. I have a strong team behind me, so we will fight hard.”