Ott Tänak

Ott Tänak
Ott Tänak. Photo by: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
Date of birth15.10.1987
TeamHyundai Motorsport
Co-driverMartin Järveoja
WRC starts154
First eventPortugal 2009
First winSardinia 2017
Stage wins365
Power Stage wins21
Total points1561
2023 season ranking4.
Championship wins1

Stats updated 16/05/2024


Ott Tänak started his rally career in his homeland of Estonia, winning the national championship in 2008 and 2009. Early in his career, crashes were a hallmark of his driving, but the first sign of potential came when Tänak won the Pirelli Star Driver contest and got to compete in six WRC series races in the PWRC class in 2010. This was followed by a couple of years with Ford.

His promising career was almost cut short in 2013 when the young Estonian had to return to his home country’s series. Tänak contemplated his future but managed to make a comeback to the WRC the following year, again with Ford. Gradually, Ott gained more speed and, importantly, consistency. The year 2017 was Tänak’s breakthrough year, as he won two events and finished third in the WRC.

In the 2018 season, Tänak clinched four WRC wins and fought for the championship until the end. Title hopes were dashed with a retirement in the final race in Australia. Especially in the second half of the season, Toyota and Tänak were the fastest duo in the WRC.

The 2019 season was highly successful for the Estonian. Tänak secured nine podium finishes, including six victories. He clinched his first world championship with a stunning performance in the Power Stage of Rally Catalonia. At the end of the season, Tänak made a bold move by deciding to join Hyundai for the 2020 season with a two-year contract.

However, the Hyundai era has not started in the best possible way. Tänak finished third in the COVID-affected 2020 season, but especially 2021 was frustrating. Reliability issues with the Hyundai i20 Rally1 car robbed the Estonian of several victories. Tänak won in Rovaniemi in February and also achieved podium finishes in Kenya, Greece, and Finland. Tänak, who missed the season-ending Monza race due to family reasons, finished fifth in the 2021 standings.

The year 2022 started poorly for Tänak and the entire Hyundai team, but eventually, the Estonian challenged Kalle Rovanperä for the championship, ultimately settling for silver. In the fall, he announced that his collaboration with Hyundai would end. His next destination was M-Sport Ford, the team from the early years of his career.

The 2023 season was a disappointment for the Estonian. Tänak achieved two event victories, but the season fell short of expectations, leaving him outside the championship points.

At the end of 2023, Tänak announced that he would leave M-Sport at the end of the season. In 2024, the Estonian will compete again with Hyundai.