Tänak believes Hyundai move was “still worth it”

Ott Tänak never got the second world title he targeted, but doesn't regret his three-year stay at Hyundai


Despite walking out of his Hyundai Motorsport contract one year early, Ott Tänak believes his move to the team was “still worth it”.

Tänak joined Hyundai from Toyota as the reigning World Rally champion in 2020, but hasn’t managed to achieve the success he had envisaged.

Statistically 2022 was Tänak’s strongest year in Hyundai colors, claiming three victories and finishing second to world champion Kalle Rovanperä in the drivers’ championship.

But he was never a realistic title contender in a year where he had expected to be in the fight, following two seasons in an i20 Coupe WRC that was best suited to team-mate Thierry Neuville.

Tänak admitted second on last weekend’s Rally Japan represented a “great finish” to his three-year Hyundai spell, but asked to reflect on his time with the team he labeled it “obviously not successful”.

“We came here to fight for another championship,” Tänak told DirtFish. “It was not happening and then obviously I was never delivering enough in order to be actually in any three of those championship fights.

“Other than that, it’s been definitely an incredible experience. I met another bunch of people and made probably some friends for life. So still it was worth it, yeah.”

2022NZ_FD_ 006

Tänak picked out this year’s Rally Finland win as a highlight, where he drove out of his skin and often above the capabilities of his machine to defeat Kalle Rovanperä and Toyota on home ground.

“Finland in a way was quite good because Toyota and Kalle were definitely going to win it easy and then in the end it didn’t happen. So it was quite good,” he said. “And to win in Belgium as well when Thierry should have won was not so bad as well.

“So I would say altogether, like Thierry said, he’s never got beaten in any of the team-mates he’s had. So in the end we managed to come out on top.


“But still in the end, OK I’m just joking, it’s why we are here is the championship, not about beating the team-mates.”

Tänak still has plenty to give the World Rally Championship but “at the moment I have nothing for next year”.

He added: “Let’s go back, have a few days off and with a fresh mind we see what we can do in the future.”

Tänak’s time at Hyundai vs Toyota:

Hyundai Toyota
Rallies 31 26
Wins 5 10
Podiums 16 15
Fastest times 104 143
Championships 0 1 (2019)