FIA World Rally Championship

WRC driver market is running hot as Tänak is rumored to move

2 Mins read
Credit: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

The driver market in the FIA World Rally Championship is running hot at the moment when the rumors about the Estonian Ott Tänak looking to part away from the Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT team at the end of the season and he will maybe join back with the M-Sport Ford WRT team next season but also Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT is looking to snatch back Tänak as well.

In 2019 Tänak won the world title with Toyota but he has since then moved over to Hyundai where he hasn´t had the results he hoped for, he was, however, a title contender for this season but lost the chance to take a second title when Kalle Rovanperä, who became the youngest ever world champion in WRC, claimed it in Rally New Zealand last time out.

The man himself has even hinted at the possibility of quitting in his speeches. Thierry Neuville, who has been in the Korean manufacturer line-up since the beginning of the WRC project, does not believe his teammate’s talk about retirement.

“First of all, I believe that Ott doesn’t want to quit so soon. I know that he has had challenging times at home, but I believe that the top results of recent times have given him the necessary motivation. I think Ott is like everyone else. He is waiting for news about who will lead our team in the future. I’d argue that it plays a pretty big role in Otti’s decision whether he’s going to stay with our team, quit, or whatever.” Neuville told Dirtfish.com.

Credit: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

“I don’t know who would be the right person to lead the team. Someone who can do the things we need right now. We need people pulling together.”

Hyundai has still not found a team manager to replace Andrea Adamo, who left the team at the end of last year. So far, Julien Moncet, who is a former engineer in the team, has taken over the role as the deputy team manager so far.

Tänak’s decision, whatever it may be will open up the driver market. If the Estonian stays at Hyundai, the saga will certainly come to an end and if Tänak changes teams or stops altogether, there will be many different drivers fighting for the Estonian’s place at Hyundai.

In the rumors, both Andreas Mikkelsen and Craig Breen, whose season at M-Sport has been bad but is still contracted with the team could be a possible driver to replace Tänak but also Teemu Suninen, who drove Hyundai’s Rally2 car this season, is also looking for to go back up to the top-level.

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