The World Rally Championship (WRC) season will conclude next weekend with a round in Monza, Italy. Reigning world champion Ott Tänak (Hyundai) admits that the latest addition to the season calendar could turn out to be quite a complicated challenge.
The Monza WRC round will be hosted at the Monza circuit, a familiar sight for Formula 1 fans. In addition to the legendary race track, the round will also traverse the mountain and forest roads near Milan, Italy.
Tänak said via press release on Friday: "Monza is obviously a new event, somewhere that I have never been before. I have seen some footage and mostly it looks to be very different in terms of concept. We will have a full day of circuit-based stages, followed by a day in the fores, so a big challenge."
Tänak's chances of repeating his world championship from last season are razor-thin, as the Estonian currently holds fourth place in the standings, behind first-place Elfyn Evans (Toyota) by 28 points. Tänak has also been outperformed by Sebastien Ogier (Toyota) and Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville. While the three-team race is on Hyundai's side for now, their lead ahead of Toyota is just seven points.
"From a team's perspective, we need to do all we can to defend the manufacturers' title. There are also some things still open in the drivers' championship too. As it's the last event, it will be all or nothing," Tänak said.
With the complicated rally season having endured a complete suspension in spring, followed with a season restart in Estonia, the final round at Monza is currently still scheduled to take place, even as the Lombardy region is far away the hardest-hit region of Italy when it comes to COVID-19 cases. Even if it was not, Tänak has stated that his former teammate Elfyn Evans deserves the title even without the final round of the season.
Tänak told rally portal DirtFish on Tuesday: "It's definitely been a really difficult and different season – there has been nothing normal about this year. But if you are first then you are the winner."
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste