Rally portal DirtFish has announced that Estonian driving ace Ott Tänak is set to make a return to Hyundai next season. The announcement comes just days after Tänak's victory at this year's Rally Chile.
According to DirtFish, 2019 world champion Tänak has agreed terms on a new contract with Hyundai that will see him return to the team next year alongside Belgium's Thierry Neuville.
Tänak left Hyundai at the end of last season to join M-Sport, however things have not gone as planned this year for the Estonian. Alongside co-driver Martin Järveoja, Tänak has recorded just two rally wins this year, in Chile and Sweden, and finished as runner-up once, in Croatia. He currently lies fourth in the overall championship standings, 71 points adrift of leader Kalle Rovanperä.
DirtFish writes that Tänak's decision is bound to raise a few eyebrows as, in the three years the Estonian spent in his previous spell at Hyundai, he managed just five wins. In comparison, Tänak scored six victories in a single season in 2019 to become world champion when with Toyota.
However, according to a source at the portal, Tänak's decision to return to Hyundai is down to changes in the team's management.
"Look at the team. Hyundai [now] is not the Hyundai from 18 months ago. The TP (team principal) has changed, team manager has gone and now FX [Demaison, technical director] is there to help with the engineering side," Dirtfish's source said.
The source added that Tänak's unhappiness with certain members of the team was hardly a secret in the past, but now there are plenty of fresh faces involved.
"OK, it's not like [Andrea] Adamo is coming back, but we can see he (Tänak) can see the change and it's enough to convince him to come to the factory again," the source added.
Editor: Michael Cole