Tänak would rather rest than test Puma this year

M-Sport's new signing has very clear reasoning for not testing the Puma Rally1 again this year


As an answer, it tells its own story. No. Ott Tänak won’t be flying back to Britain to test M-Sport’s Ford Puma Rally1 again this season.

Deal done for next season, the Estonian’s now done with the World Rally Championship for this season. It’s snowing at home. It’s nearly Christmas. It’s family time.

After weeks of speculation, M-Sport confirmed Tänak would be making the switch from Hyundai to M-Sport for 2023, as he looks to claim a second championship.

And with pastures new on the immediate horizon, most drivers would be looking to completely immerse themselves in their newest challenge. Tänak doesn’t quite see it that way.

Instead he believes taking some time out to rest and recharge will be just as beneficial for both him and M-Sport.

“Actually it’s even in my own interest to have a bit of rest in December,” the 2019 world champion told DirtFish when asked if he’d be doing any additional testing at Greystoke before the new season gets underway.

“It’s been a long year and in some other ways quite stressful.

“It’s been a very, very difficult year actually so I really enjoy being back home and having some good time with family.”

Once those batteries are charged, Tänak’s a man on a mission from January 1.

He added: “I mean it’s important for everybody actually to get the energy and to wake up on the first of January it will be full of energy and motivation.

“It’s even more important than a few days of testing. Mentally you need to be ready as well.”

Starting next year with a different team is always going to feel different. You’re immersing yourself with new people, a new car and a different way of working.

And in many ways, that’s why a rest and full reset will be great for both Tänak and M-Sport. The reset button can be hit in more ways than one.

Tänak is excited about what lies ahead. How does it compare to 12 months ago?

“I mean obviously it’s in some ways no different,” he said, “as I know there is a challenge waiting ahead of me, and there is going to be the whole team behind to give me every tool possible to be able to compete.

“It’s going to be challenging, but I’m actually looking forward for sure.”

Words:Rob Hansford