For WRC star Ott Tänak, rejoining Hyundai gives him the best shot at another world title bid at present, he says.
Rally blog Dirtfish reported earlier this week that the Estonian, 35, from Saaremaa, would be rejoining Hyundai, with whom he won five races 2020-2022, while Tänak and the team confirmed this a day later.
Tänak told ERR, ahead of this weekend's non-championship Rally Saaremaa, that: "The aim is still to race, to compete for the title."
Tänak raced with M-Sport Ford this season, a less well-heeled team than Hyundai and Toyota, the only other manufacturers competing at the top level, though still managed to pull off two victories, most recently last weekend, in Chile, with two more rounds in Central Europe and in Japan to go this year.
"The situation with M-Sport is not easy, and if you look at the next two years, it was the best opportunity to be competitive at that moment," Tänak told ERR ahead of the Saaremaa rally at the weekend.
In the meantime, Hyundai has, Tänak says, addressed issues it faced at the end of the 2022 season, when he left.
"From the point at which I left the team Hyundai, as a firm, has been able successively to solve the structural problems that were present during my time there," Tänak continued.
"They've evidently proven that they have an interest in doing things better. Since for me, the results are a priority, as they plan to be competitive going forward, our goals are similar."
In an interview given to portal Delfi on Thursday, Tänak also shed some further light on M-Sport's issues, citing these as relating to a lack of technical development with the Puma throughout the season and with none likely to be forthcoming soon.
"Unfortunately, I have not managed to make this car work for myself either. It's been difficult," Tänak told Delfi.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Anders Nõmm.
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera,' reporter Margus Muld.