Hyundai team principal Andrea Adamo says reliability takes priority over performance with the team’s new Rally1 car, as it looks to find a “different way” to be ready for the 2022 World Rally Championship season compared to its rivals.
The manufacturer conducted a rally simulation test with a prototype version of its new i20 Rally1 this week, running the car across three days to a regimented itinerary on various roads instead of testing on the same section numerous times.
DirtFish’s Colin Clark was present for the first two days of that test, and asked Adamo if – with just over 80 days to go until the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally – he felt Hyundai had enough time to find the required performance from its car.
“You are seeing things in a different perspective than I am,” Adamo responded.
“We started much behind the others, so what we are doing is finding a different way to be ready in Monte Carlo. Because more than ever, we think that reliability is the thing you have to have with these kind of cars.
“And we already learned the hard way this year that without reliability you cannot win a rally.
“So we believe in the learning process, and it’s why we did this prototype – and it really was a prototype – in this moment. To chase the final performance with a car that is far away from the one that will be in Monte Carlo, which we will start to test in 10 days, would have been good but also a bit of a waste of time.
“For me, it’s important to collect the maximum amount of performance and experience with this one in order to make the new one properly, and this is the ultimate target for us.”
Ott Tänak, who drove the car on Wednesday, told DirtFish there is still quite a bit of development to do with Hyundai’s 2022 challenger but he was not worried about that, saying “it just means we will have a busy end of the year”.
“It’s been such a different project and I would say [for the] first time in the history it’s not really a car anymore,” Tänak said.
“You just get a piece of rollcage and you put the wheels on it and plastic around so it’s a very different challenge and for the guys as well, for the engineers, it’s a lot to understand and a lot of experience to be gained.
“Step by step we are learning.”