Ott Tänak lashes out: “It’s like in kindergarten”

Hyundai's Ott Tänak secured the largest championship points haul from the Rally Portugal, which concluded on Sunday.
Ott Tänak
Ott Tänak captured the most points from the Rally de Portugal. Photo: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
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While the rally was won by Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier, who took home 25 championship points for the weekend, it was Tänak who ultimately claimed the largest points total, securing one more point than Ogier. The Estonian finished second in the rally, won the Super Sunday, and also earned the second-highest points haul from the Power Stage with his second-place finish.

“The outcome is not too bad. It’s very unfortunate about this one stage with the slow puncture. But otherwise, I would say it’s quite positive,” Tänak summarized.

“On Friday, I was struggling the most, but afterward, I was slowly getting used to the car and found a good rhythm, like in the Power Stage as well,” Tänak continued.

Tänak’s season has been relatively lackluster so far, so in a way, he was in a must-perform situation in Portugal. However, Tänak was not yet ready to commit himself fully to the championship battle.

“Now let’s see. This was like in Croatia as well. In the end, everyone still scored the same points. You can do whatever you want, but it’s like in kindergarten where everyone gets a thumbs up,” Tänak blurted out, having moved up to third in the championship standings.

Check out the full championship standings here!

Tänak was not at his best on Friday, but things began to change on Saturday. Had it not been for the tyre puncture, the Estonian could have contended for the victory.

“If you take off, say, 13 or 15 seconds, then we would have been there,” Tänak reflected.

According to Tänak, there was no single reason for the improvement in pace on Saturday.

“On Saturday, we had very different stages. Overnight, I was able to understand myself better, to try do some things differently.”

The championship series continues in three weeks in Sardinia.

“Hopefully, I’m better prepared and maybe we can adjust something more as well. But generally, it’s a rally which I normally enjoy. We are not in a place where I can feel the car and control the speed of the others, but at least we are not far away,” Tänak anticipated.

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