Tänak feared he’d miss Sweden after Monte crash

World Rally champion reveals the level of pain he was initially in led to doubts about starting

Ott Tänak

Reigning World Rally champion Ott Tänak has revealed to DirtFish that he wasn’t even sure he would be starting Rally Sweden.

He ultimately drove to second place on the event and scored his maiden podium finish with Hyundai Motorsport.

While Tänak didn’t break any bones in his 110mph crash at last month’s Monte Carlo Rally, he said the pain was enough to make him question whether or not he would start round two.

“It’s nice to come back after Monte,” he told DirtFish.

“Let’s say the recovery took quite a bit of time, the first week I was quite a bit in pain; I was really not confident I will be, let’s say, fit for Sweden.

“But luckily, in the end, it was still going quickly enough so for sure I’m happy to finish in this position.

“The body was not really happy [with] what was happening, so it took a bit of time.

“The pain was in my body, my whole body. But this is normal I guess if you need to manage like this then it can have some stress in the body. It’s still not perfect, but it’s quite good.”

Asked how he’d managed the pain through the shortened Rally Sweden, Tänak said: “I didn’t take any painkillers, we were working with the physio – we have been working to get the stress out and it’s quite good at the moment.”

Ahead of the event, Tänak had found it difficult just sitting in a rally car with the belts done up.

He said: “I was a couple of times sitting in some local rally cars trying to tighten the belts and in the beginning it was not really possible but in the end was good.”

Tänak added he was happy to get more experience of the i20 Coupe WRC, saying: “I’m happy to be here, to finally finish a rally this year. After Monte it’s been nice to come back in the car.

It’s been really limited seat time in the car, it was quite a rush at the start of the year.

“I’m sure this week definitely gave us some more. At least we have some understanding of what’s happening and now things are a lot more interesting.”