Ott Tänak has described his power-steering problem as “just heavy steering”.
Tänak first reported a power-steering issue after SS10, Malijai / Puimichel, where he ceded his fourth place to Toyota’s Elfyn Evans.
On the way to the final stage of Saturday morning’s loop, Tänak pulled his M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 over and attempted to do some repairs.
DirtFish was at the scene and while it transpired that Tänak was unable to fix the problem, he confirmed that it was an “internal” problem.
“It’s not a complete failure,” he told DirtFish. “There is something but it’s quite consistent so I think we should get through.”
At the regroup after SS11, where Tänak lost less than 10 seconds to the fastest time, he added: “The last stage was very smooth and then actually it’s quite well manageable, so not so bad.
“The middle stage was more bumpy so then it’s affecting more.
“Other than that luckily it’s not a full failure, it’s basically just heavy steering.”
Had it been a total failure, Tänak would have struggled to make it through the remainder of the day as, just like on Friday, there is no midday service on Saturday.
He is confident that his power-steering problem is not the same as his team-mate Pierre-Louis Loubet suffered on Friday.
“No I don’t think so, I think he had some other problem,” said Tänak.
The 2019 world champion should be able to hold onto fifth position without trouble, as he has 47.3 seconds in hand over Takamoto Katsuta behind him.