The Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team had a great Arctic Rally Finland with Ott Tanak taking his first win of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship victory of the season and speaking following the event which he won by 17.5s the Estonian commented saying:

This victory is very important and allows us to take away good points for the championship. We came to Finland – the home country of one of our closest rivals – so the pressure was on for sure. We knew it would be complicated to take on the fight but, in the end, we did a very good weekend. The pre-event test was held in very different conditions, so we didn’t really know what to expect. I was pushing the engineers quite a lot, but their hard work really paid off. We tried some new things in shakedown, and it all worked out nicely. This has been an amazing place to come for a rally, definitely one of the best for a winter event; there’s no place where you can have more snow and the characteristics of the road have been very special. Big praise to the organisers – it’s more than a worthy addition to the world championship.

Thierry Neuville says he was very satisfied with how his rally went after he came home in third place and speaking following the rally he commented saying:

I am very satisfied with our weekend and third position, even if second was so close. We kept believing right up to the end, but everyone was pushing hard on the Power Stage, so it wasn’t possible to grab P2. Still, we have taken some good points for both championships, which were really needed after Monte-Carlo. The partnership with Martijn, too, was better. We still have some communication issues to resolve, to get the wording clearer and for me to understand better, but I’m sure we’ll be more competitive with that. I felt that the car was really great in these conditions, I didn’t really have any complaints; I felt comfortable, we could find a good rhythm and I was able to push immediately. A great all-round team result.

Craig Breen, who prior to this weekend’s event had only been in the i20 WRC Coupe for one day of testing prior to the start of the season had a strong end to the weekend coming home in second place on the final power stage of the event finishing in fourth place overall scoring valuable points in the manufacturers championship for Hyundai.

Speaking following the event, Breen commented saying:

I am happy to finish this rally with fourth place. In all honesty, it’s been a tough weekend. I’ve felt mentally – after delivering so much in Estonia last season – that the goalposts had moved, so I wanted to win but I also have to remember my experience is still a bit on the low side. It definitely gives me motivation to have made progress today. We spent some time in the regroup to analyse where I was losing time compared to the others. Thanks to the engineers, we were able to identify a few things that, maybe due to my driving style, were upsetting the car – erasing some traits that I’ve carried for a few years. I knew the speed was there, so it was nice to score some points for the team in the Power Stage and to end the weekend on a positive note

Hyundai Team Principal Andrea Adamo commented on the rally saying:

After Monte-Carlo, I said only a win would have been enough to allow us to come back to the level we need to be. We needed to be more focused and better prepared. The team did an amazing job, and this result reflects that. We understood our faults, me first of all, and we responded in the way we needed. Winning and finishing first are very different concepts. Today, we won. Ott and Martin did an incredible job from start to finish, and the victory was truly well deserved. Thierry and Martijn, starting third on the road we mustn’t forget, fought like hell until the very end to support our manufacturers’ championship efforts. I would have loved to have seen Craig and Paul fast all weekend, like they were in the Power Stage, but they finished fourth, which was what we asked of them today. Thank you to the Arctic Rally Finland organisers for allowing us to come here and enjoy an exciting rally; we have shown again that motorsport can react quickly in very difficult circumstances to put on a show – safely – and to ensure that everybody can share some entertainment in difficult times.

Speaking to Paddock Eye during the post event press conference, Adamo said he was delighted with the FIA and WRC Promotions managed to get the Arctic Rally organized in such a short space of time after it was put on the calendar in place of Sweden.

Adamo said that it is great to see the FIA, rally promotor and WRC doing amazing things which allows the teams to go racing particularly under the current tricky circumstances.

We have to be happy happy to be here and enjoy are job. Adamo went on to dedicate Hyundai’s win to Hannu Mikkola who passed away on Saturday.

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