Ott Tänak has been forced to retire from the Monte Carlo Rally on the road after SS11 after a calamitous run on Saint-Geniez / Thoard.
Tänak, along with Hyundai team-mate Thierry Neuville, opted not to take any studded tires within his package for Saturday morning’s loop which proved to be a mistake as SS11 featured some incredibly icy sections.
Lying eighth before the stage after a puncture earlier in the morning, Tänak lost yet more ground on the stage after picking up another flat tire and nosing a bank with force.
It was a sketchy moment where Tänak struggled on the ice, almost slid down the bank on the inside of the corner but instead clouted the cliff-face on the outside.
The impact caused significant damage to his i20 N Rally1 as he reached the end of the stage with his windshield completely covered in fluid.
He drove away from the stop-line but didn’t make it back to the remote tire fitting zone. A team statement confirmed that the 2019 world champion had been forced to retire due to the “front impact” on SS11.
Tänak later said in Hyundai’s end of day press release that he would not continue on Sunday.
It means Tänak’s wretched run of form on the Monte continues.
On his debut with the team in 2020 he spectacularly crashed out on the fourth special stage while last year he was unable to continue – and handed a suspended ban – for driving along the public highway with just three fully rotating wheels on his i20.