Ott Tänak and Hyundai have announced the early conclusion of their contract at the end of the current WRC season. Tänak cited personal reasons as the decision to leave the team at the end of the year.
Tänak has had a successful spell with the team, taking five rally wins, 15 podiums and 101 stage wins since the Estonian joined the squad for the 2020 season. Podiums in Sweden and Mexico started the partnership well, which then got even better as the first victory came the same year at Tänak’s home in Estonia. A win in Finland in 2021 was the biggest result of the season but its the current one where there has been the most success. Rally Italia Sardegna joined a back-to-back triumph in Finland and Belgium with a podium in a Hyundai 1-2-3 at the Greece event.
In a statement Tänak said: “This is a personal decision and one that I have taken with careful consideration and respect for the team. However, I feel that I am at a stage of my career where I need to embark on a new challenge.”
Hyundai was already at a cross-road with its 2023 driver line-up, the team took the decision to let go Oliver Solberg after Rally New Zealand, however Deputy Team Director Julian Moncet has said that while unexpected, it opens up more possibilities for their line-up.
“We will miss him but it’s also an opportunity for us to regroup and rebuild. We were already giving serious thought to our crew composition for 2023 so this decision, while not being the one we wanted, opens different possibilities for us as we prepare for next season.”
Tänak’s last outing for Hyundai will be at next month’s finale in Japan where he will want to go out on a high by securing second place in the championship where he heads teammate Thierry Neuville by 20 points.