Hyundai cautiously optimistic after shock Finland WRC win

An unlikely victory in Finland has left Hyundai Motorsport cautiously optimistic it has turned a corner after a difficult start to the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era.

Hyundai cautiously optimistic after shock Finland WRC win
Listen to this article

Ott Tanak clinched a first WRC win for Hyundai on Finland's iconic fast gravel roads after the Estonian produced an against the odds performance to defeat Toyota at their home event.

Tanak's success was Hyundai's second win of the 2022 season after the 2019 world champion claimed the top honours in Sardinia back in June.

Although, much of the team's start to the WRC's hybrid era has largely been disappointing, with its campaign littered with reliability and performance woes with its i20 N challenger, that stem form the South Korean marque's Kate commitment to the new rules.

This has also played out amid internal struggles within the squad following the departure of long-time team principal Andrea Adamo late last year.

However, Rally Finland marked the second event where there was no sign of any reliability issues, while Tanak proved the i20 N has the speed to take on Toyota.

It has left deputy team director Julien Moncet confident his team is taking strides with the development of its 2022 car.  

"I hope a corner has been passed but we have to be cautious as well because we had a similar result in Sardinia and after the following races were not so positive following that," said Moncet.

"We have to be very careful not to be too optimistic. We have to enjoy the result but it should not put us away from our target which is to have this result every rally.

Podium: Winners Ott Tanak, Martin Jarveoja, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1, second place Kalle Rovanpera, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1, third place Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Podium: Winners Ott Tanak, Martin Jarveoja, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1, second place Kalle Rovanpera, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1, third place Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

"Of course we are always developing the car. We will continue, we know the car is far from being perfect and we will continue pushing, and hopefully this will give us more boost to push even more. 

"Already in Estonia we had almost nothing [in terms of reliability issues] and here as well. It is very good as we have lost a lot of points and opportunities due to reliability issues, so it is positive for us. Hopefully we can focus more on the performance." 

Read Also:

While Tanak led Hyundai's charge, the team's other senior driver Thierry Neuville struggled to find the confidence to tame the difficult to handle i20 N in Finland, finishing more than two minutes adrift in fifth. 

Neuville did openly admit that Finland's gravel roads have never been among his favourite conditions in the WRC and is expected to shine on home oil in Belgium next week. 

However, the four-time WRC runner-up has revealed that the i20 N could be set for even more rapid progress in the not too distant future when asked about the team's plan for the i20 N.

"If he [engineering consultant Christian Loriaux] gets the green light to do what he wants, I think we will progress even quicker."

As previously reported, Hyundai is unlikely to release a significant update package for its car until October at the earliest. 

shares
comments

Related video

WRC legend Kankkunen to drive hydrogen-powered Toyota at Ypres Rally
Previous article

WRC legend Kankkunen to drive hydrogen-powered Toyota at Ypres Rally

Next article

Kovalainen pushing on with Japan WRC plans as JRC title looms

Kovalainen pushing on with Japan WRC plans as JRC title looms
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Prime

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Prime

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022
Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life Prime

Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life

Toyota locked out the top four places in the World Rally Championship's recent Safari Rally Kenya in a clear indication of its GR Yaris Rally1 hybrid's pace and durability. Motorsport.com was recently given a tour of the new factory where its cars are designed, tested and built, and it reveals much about the commitment of the Japanese marque to continued WRC success.

WRC
Aug 19, 2022
How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession Prime

How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession

Finland may have a small population, but it has long enjoyed rallying success. Now that the nation has a new star to cheer in the form of Kalle Rovanpera, interest in the discipline is surging once again.

WRC
Aug 10, 2022
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera's Finnish homecoming Prime

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera's Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Prime

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Motorsport.com for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit.

WRC
Jul 27, 2022
How Rovanpera's latest masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped Prime

How Rovanpera's latest masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped

After trailing Toyota teammate Elfyn Evans for much of Rally Estonia's opening day, WRC points leader Kalle Rovanpera took advantage of a change in the weather and never looked back afterwards. Winning for a fifth time this year at the scene of his 2021 breakthrough, and with a breathtaking powerstage bonus for good measure, his advantage is already looking difficult to topple.

WRC
Jul 18, 2022
How the WRC captures its stunning visuals Prime

How the WRC captures its stunning visuals

Whether it’s the mountains of Monte Carlo, the snow of Sweden or the Kenya Savannah, the World Rally Championship is able to beam some of motorsport’s most spectacular footage to television screens while operating in the harshest of environments. Motorsport.com went behind the scenes to unearth the secrets that make this logistical challenge possible

WRC
Jul 7, 2022