Ott Tänak wrecks his tyres in battle against the veteran champion – now explains what really happened

The Saturday evening loop of the Rally de Portugal offered a fierce battle between two world champions.
Ott Tänak
Ott Tänak. Photo by: Vincent Thuillier/Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
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In the end, Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier, who drove with greater tactical maturity, prevailed over the 2019 world champion, Ott Tänak.

Tänak launched a vigorous attack on the day’s final monster stage, but the Estonian completely destroyed his tyres on the nearly 40-kilometer special stage. Especially the front tyres were nearly gone by the end of the stage.

“We had a good start actually. The roads were a bit more rutted in the afternoon, making it easier to lean, so I felt better in the car. I would say the tyre choice was not too bad, but the stages are very twisty and quite slow,” Tänak reviewed his day.

“It was very hot outside, so the car started to struggle a bit and it was not so easy to put together a good stage anymore,” Tänak continued.

Overall, the Estonian could not be too disappointed. He secured the second-largest haul of conditional points on Saturday. And Tänak, if anyone, is in need of points at the moment.

“I would say it was still a decent day. I’ve been very strong on Sundays,” Tänak reminded.

Tänak was not ready to disclose his strategy for Sunday in more detail.

“Let’s first see what the conditions are like. The rally basically ended tonight because the points are now locked. So tomorrow is a different day. It’s just about the points, and we need to try to get the maximum from Sunday,” Tänak planned.

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