Hyundai boss: ‘We have to become more in control of our own destiny’
Saturday 10th July, 2021 - 9:16am
Hyundai has reviewed its costly reliability woes ahead of the next World Rally Championship round at Estonia next weekend.
The Korean marque has retired from the lead in the past three events, most recently Thierry Neuville suffering a broken rear-right damper on the final day of the Safari Rally Kenya.
Having branded the situation “simply unacceptable”, team principal Andrea Adamo is hopeful of having remedied the issues.
“We have spent the short period since Safari Rally Kenya to review the issues we have encountered in recent events,” said Adamo.
“There is only so much we can do in this time frame, but we head to Estonia with our motivation levels high, and a determination to show what we can achieve.
“Just because we finished one-two in last year’s Rally Estonia doesn’t automatically guarantee results this year; we must work as hard as we can, stay focused and extract all the performance we can from our car – which, by the way, has shown itself to be very fast on all events so far this season.
“There is always luck involved in rallying, of course, but we have to become more in control of our own destiny.”
Rally Estonia is the home event of 2019 WRC champion and Hyundai #8 driver Ott Tanak, whose brain Neuville is planning to pick.
“Rally Estonia is generally characterised by very fast, smooth flat roads; there are many artificial jumps, too, which gives the event a very high average speed,” said Tanak.
“It is nice to drive at home, and we had a memorable result last year with our first-ever win for Hyundai Motorsport.
“We remain hopeful that we can fight for a similar result this year, as we know the car can be fast in these conditions.
“For me, it will be a logistically easy rally with very little travel time to and from the event – which is always nice.”
Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier enters Rally Estonia with a 34-point advantage atop the standings from team-mate Elfyn Evans.
“To have won four rallies already this season is mega and better than we could have expected,” said the seven-time champion.
“Winning rallies at the moment in the WRC is tough because the competition is very hard, so I’m very happy with our season so far.
“Rally Estonia is a challenging one to win, especially running first on the road, but I will do my best to keep scoring big points.
“Certainly the ground will be much smoother than in Kenya, so we can really focus on the driving and on trying to find the limits.
“It’s always a difficult challenge to be on the limit on such fast roads that we have in the north of Europe, but I think it’s a challenge that every single driver enjoys.”
Rally Estonia will take place across July 15-18.