Tänak given time penalty for hybrid mode breach

A 10-second penalty was levied for failing to engage electric mode on his Hyundai i20 N Rally1


Ott Tänak has been handed a 10-second time penalty for not driving his Hyundai i20 N Rally1 in electric mode during a designated electric-only zone on Rally Estonia.

With hybrid power introduced into the World Rally Championship for the first time this year, HEV (hybrid electric vehicle) zones have been introduced on all rounds this season where a competitor must not run their internal combustion engine.

But having received what’s described as a “comprehensive report” from the FIA technical delegate, Tänak was found to have not done this on his way to the very first time control of his home event and has subsequently had 10s added to his overall rally time.

A stewards’ hearing was held at 9.30am on Friday morning with Hyundai’s team manager Pablo Marcos, who explained that Tänak stated that co-driver Martin Järveoja was “doubtful whether to switch to HEV mode at box 18 on page 56 of Road Book Part 1 due to an uphill slope after the car wash”.

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Järveoja didn’t inform Marcos and Tänak’s Hyundai was switched into electric mode only when it arrived at the time control, not before it.

The FIA technical delegate confirmed that “no technical problem was reported by the team” and that hybrid kit supplier Compact Dynamics “confirmed there was no technical issue”.

The 10s penalty Tänak earned for breaching Article 34.1.7 of the WRC sporting regulations moves him behind championship leader Kalle Rovanperä and into third place, 22.5 seconds behind rally leader Elfyn Evans.

Evans’ advantage over now second-placed Rovanperä stands at 18.7s.