Andrea Adamo, director of Hyundai Motorsport, praised team drivers Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville for their cooperation and brought out the Estonian reigning world champion's contributions to the development of their World Rally Car Hyundai i20 Coupe.
Adamo told rally portal DirtFish: "Do you know what has impressed me? It's the way Thierry has been so humble about Ott joining us. He has been open-minded and willing to do everything he can to make it work.
"It's the same coming from Ott. When they are testing, they are working together and moving the car in the right direction. We are making good progress. People were worried about competition in the team, but we have co-operation. Of course, we know when the rally starts, it's all about the competition. Away from the rallies, we're together."
Adamo praised Tänak, saying he is captivated by the Estonian's preparation and thoroughness, likening him to former Italian racing driver Gabriele Tarquini.
Adamo commented on Tänak's role in the development of the vehicle: "Ott clearly planned what he wanted and which jobs to focus on. I see this sort of thing with Tarquini and honestly, it makes a driver's input into the development priceless."
He added: "People asked me when Ott came, they said: 'Ott will be a challenge for you…' I tell them no, Ott coming to Hyundai is not a challenge; Ott coming to Hyundai is an opportunity."
On July 2, the organizers of Rally Estonia and WRC promoter GmbH confirmed that the currently suspended World Rally Championship (WRC) season will continue in September with Rally Estonia. The government also allocated a total of €2.5 million to support the WRC round.
Adamo said the pandemic did not stop the team from doing hard work: "We worked hard in lockdown, and we worked hard, hard, hard in the test. We took good information and made good improvements. We keep pushing now, but I am really proud of what my people achieved at these difficult times."
WRC officials have presented an updated schedule for the rest of the WRC season. Rally Estonia will be followed by Rally Turkey on September 24-27, Rally of Germany on October 15-18, Rally d'Italia on October 29-November 1 and Rally Japan on November 19-22.
According to the International Automobile Federation (FIA), seven rounds of the season have to be completed to give out the title. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, three rounds were completed, which has led the association to look into alternative options.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste