Ott Tänak

1. Who is he?

Ott Tänak is Estonian. He was born on October 15, 1987 in Kärla. He is currently a Hyundai driver in the WRC.

2. Junior course

Double Estonian champion in 2008 and 2009, Ott Tänak began his career and discovered the games of the World Rally Championship in 2010 through the P-WRC category (production cars) even if he had done two stints during the year former. In 2011, he moved up to the S-WRC where he finished 2nd with 5 podiums including 3 victories which allowed him to discover the premier category a year later.

Tänak junior

Ott Tänak in 2012. © FRANCOIS BAUDIN / DPPI

3. Ott Tänak’s WRC journey

Ott Tänak was propelled into the deep end by a historic M-Sport team in 2012. The Estonian completed his first campaign in an honorable 8th place and above all with a podium in Italy. Absent in 2013, he returned to the championship via WRC2 in 2014 with DMACK World Rally Team.

A year which will serve as a springboard for him since after his 6th place in the category ranking, he returns to the highest world rally division again in 2015 M-Sport to replace Mikko Hirvonen, who has retired, before returning to DMACK in 2016.

Eighth in the championship at the end of the season, Ott Tänak tried the M-Sport adventure again and this time the results were there. Now guided by Martin Järveoja and no longer Raigo Mõlder, the Estonian won for the first time in the WRC during the 2017 Rally Italy. He ended the season with another victory (Germany) and above all a 3rd place in the final ranking. Before heading off to Toyota for the next two years.

Tänak WRC world champion

Ott Tänak becomes world champion in 2019. © Thomas Fenêtre / DPPI

After a successful first campaign with the Japanese manufacturer (4th victory and 3rd in the championship), Ott Tänak was crowned world champion in 2019, ending six years of domination by Frenchman Sébastien Ogier.

Despite the world title, the Estonian did not extend his collaboration with Toyota and moved to Hyundai in 2020. In a year marked by the health crisis and a big crash at Monte-Carlo, Ott Tänak concluded the season in a correct 3rd place behind Toyota drivers Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans.

In 2021, at the wheel of his Hyundai i20 n rally1, everything did not go as planned for the 2019 champion. Well back on track with a victory at the Arctic Rally after his retirement at the start of the season at Monte- Carlo, Ott Tänak was not spared from mechanical problems, letting several opportunities for victory slip away, such as in Portugal or Sardinia. Left behind in the title race, the Estonian was able to grab three other podiums (Kenya, Greece and Finland) to finish the campaign in 5th place.

4. AUTOhebdo’s opinion

Ott Tänak is one of the leading figures in the WRC today. Regular, the Estonian is often among the three best drivers in the world and one of the title contenders at the end of the season. We can obviously question the meaning of his departure from Toyota, he who had won his first world crown with the Japanese manufacturer and who has been struggling since he left. At Hyundai Motorsport, associated in particular with Thierry Neuville and Oliver Solberg, he no longer has the same success and sometimes seems to no longer be the one who impressed so much at Toyota.

Ott Tänak’s WRC results

Highlights of Ott Tänak's career

Ott Tänak

In Italy, Ott Tänak won his first rally during the 2017 season.

Ott Tänak

08 TANAK Ott (EST), JARVEOJA Martin (EST), TOYOTA YARIS, TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT, World Champion, ambiance, podium during the 2019 WRC World Rally Car Championship, rally of Spain from October 24 to 27 at Salou, Spain - Photo Thomas FenÍtre / DPPI

Ott Tänak

During SS4 of the 2020 Monte-Carlo Rally, Ott Tänak was the victim of a violent off-track incident which destroyed his Hyundai i20. The Estonian and his co-driver Martion Järveoja managed to escape from the car on their own.

Ott Tänak
Ott Tänak
Age Oct 15, 1987 (36 years old)

associated researches

Drivers of his generation

Track lists