Tänak’s Monte issues easy to resolve

The 2019 World Rally champion had a low-key start on his return to M-Sport but bagged points with a careful drive


Although Ott Tänak might not have had the pace to be in the hunt for the rally victory on the Monte Carlo Rally, M-Sport’s Malcolm Wilson is confident that his talisman’s issues are straightforward to resolve.

Tänak consistently struggled for pace throughout the majority of the World Rally Championship’s season-opening round, only able to make his mark on the final stage of the event.

He was second fastest on the powerstage, just six tenths slower than Kalle Rovanperä, proving that there is pace in the Puma Rally1 when the 2019 champion feels happy enough to push the car to its limit.

But his main issue was the fact he didn’t have sufficient confidence to do it regularly enough throughout the event.


However, speaking to DirtFish after the rally, M-Sport founder Wilson explained that while he had hoped his team would start the year with a better result, he’s happy that Tänak’s issues weren’t fundamental ones.

“Obviously we would like to have had probably a better result, but then I think Ott’s been very smart,” said Wilson.

“There’s stuff we need to do with the car, to be honest.

“The great thing for me is the changes he wants to make are not a concern to me. It’s not like he’s saying ‘look, we’re 20 horsepower down’.

“If he said something like that I’d be really scratching my head.”

Wilson added that the majority of changes Tänak requires is related to the setup of the car.

“It’s mainly just setup and geometry things that we can do. So I’m not too concerned.

“There is some stuff on the engine, but it’s not related to power, which is a great thing.

“So yeah, I think points in the bag is crucial.”