The efficiency would have translated right into a rally lead had the 2019 world champion averted a five-minute penalty for an engine change on Thursday earlier than the rally begun.
Tanak’s stirring effort in troublesome circumstances has resulted within the Estonian climbing the leaderboard from forty eighth to eleventh total, 4m47.0s adrift of chief Kalle Rovanpera and one place exterior of the factors paying positions.
Whereas admitting the result’s bittersweet, Millener heaped reward on his driver, who produced a string a stage wins regardless of not feeling 100% comfy behind the wheel of the Ford Puma.
This season marks Tanak’s second spell with the British squad having made his WRC debut with the staff in 2011 earlier than having fun with spells at Toyota and Hyundai previous to his return to M-Sport.
“It’s good to see that the automobile efficiency is excessive. I’m positive he was driving over the restrict no doubt, and even not feeling 100% comfy, we’ve to take our hats off to Ott,” Millener advised Autosport.
“It has been an unimaginable drive. It’s exhausting to take as we’d be main the rally however we will’t have a look at it that method as it’s by no means going to vary.
Ott Tänak, M-Sport Ford World Rally Workforce
Picture by: M-Sport
“It was aggressive and managed and it was in all probability one in every of his greatest drives for us, if not the most effective.
“It’s nice to see and it was good to listen to a number of the feedback that he felt just a little bit assured within the automobile in sure situations. The blokes have been working very exhausting to seek out him extra consolation within the automobile.
“There’s some work to do in different surfaces however it’s little bit comforting to see we’d have been main the rally had we not had the problem.
“Hopefully it’s a good check in the direction of Finland. The championship goes to be very troublesome now however there’s nonetheless a number of occasions left and if we will win a pair extra this 12 months, it will be good. We’re not going to cease or quit.
“It has been a tough season I suppose and we’re up towards two very highly effective groups. These items occur and we’re simply making an attempt our greatest to remain aggressive as we’ve seen right here however the penalty has screwed us.”
Tanak, who described the penalty as “a kick within the balls” on Thursday, didn’t fully agree with Millener’s evaluation, however admitted his drive “wasn’t unhealthy” contemplating rivals Toyota and Hyundai have launched efficiency upgrades to their vehicles this 12 months.
“I might say the primary loop this morning was extra like a silly push,” Tanak advised Autosport.
“If I used to be doing the rally within the right method this is able to not have been the case. We struggled a bit within the afternoon within the ruts and we wrestle a bit to do the set-up we wished to do, however within the final levels we have been in a great place.
“I might say [my win in] Sweden [this year] was fairly good however for the remainder of the season we’ve been actually struggling.
“We’ve got labored exhausting however we’ve seen Hyundai and Toyota doing their engine upgrades and pushing the ability however on our facet we haven’t completed something. Contemplating this, we’re not doing too unhealthy.”