Tanak and team-mates Thierry Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen all suffered from a throttle mapping issues on their i20 Ns during the first two stages of the Monte Carlo Rally last Thursday.
While the problem was quickly rectified for Neuville and Mikkelsen, Tanak continued to struggle with the anti-lag system on his i20 N throughout the remainder of the rally.
Tanak was still able to bring the i20 N home in fourth but was 1m59.8s behind eventual winner Neuville.
Hyundai team principal Cyril Abiteboul admitted he was concerned by the engine dramas his team suffered in Monte Carlo, but also believed Tanak’s driving style contributed to the 2019 world champion’s struggles in adapting to the i20 N.
Abiteboul said the team will work on delivering a car much more tailored to Tanak’s style for the next round of the championship in Sweden from 15-18 February.
“Of course, I am concerned by the engine issues because it means that we need to improve our validation process because this should not happen at this level of championship,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.
Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images
Ott Tänak, Hyundai World Rally Team
“We will have a debrief about that. We have the capability to revert to a previous software or mapping strategy that was sufficient for Thierry and Andreas but for some reason, it was not good enough for Ott.
“We need to see how we can improve that for him specifically because Thierry did not complain about that apart from the first day which was the same for everyone. We will make sure we will have something better for Ott in Sweden. His performance was still strong in his first rally back with us.
“I think it is a combination of his driving style and the way we have the anti-lag system strategy. I think we simply need to have a calibration that is specifically tailored for him.”
Tanak will head to Sweden having won last year’s snow rally when driving for M-Sport-Ford. The Estonian will start third on the road for this year’s edition.