Hyundai's first Rally1 Victory in Sardinia

After encountering a difficult start to 2022 with the South Korean marque beset by challenges that stem from being the last of the three manufacturers to commit to the new hybrid regulations, delaying the development of its new i20 N, Ott Tanak's conclusive victory on Rally Italia was a great relief to Hyundai.

The team has been constantly playing catch up with the development of its car, and has been hit by several reliability issues during the first four events of the season. The scale of the problem was evident at the Monte Carlo season opener when Thierry Neuville suffered damper and hybrid issues, Ott Tanak crashed out, and Oliver Solberg was forced to withdraw after inhaling exhaust fumes that had entered his cockpit.

Since then the team has steadily improved the pace of its car, scoring podiums in Sweden (second), Croatia (second and third) and Portugal (third) but reliability issues have remained. These problems again emerged in Sardinia this weekend as Neuville and Tanak suffered transmission issues. But the cancellation of Friday's final two stages limited the damage as the team was able repair the issue on Tanak's car to keep the 2019 world champion in contention.

After main rival Esapekka Lappi crashed his Toyota out, Tanak was then able to score his first win since February 2021. Craig Breen was second in M-Sport's Kuga and Tanak's teammate Dani Sordo secured a double podium in third. Asked if the stellar result could help offer some clarity on his future within the team, as a full-time appointment continues to be sought to replace Adamo, deputy team director Julien Moncet replied: "That is a good question, I would say yes but we will see."

Hyundai is 39 points adrift of Toyota in the constructors' championship standings as the season reaches its halfway point at the Safari Rally later this month.

5th June, 2022