Millener's first comments after Tanak's engine issue in SD

The team principal of M-Sport Ford, Richard Millener, says that it is very disappointing for Ott Tanak and Martin Jarveoja to start their home event with a five-minute penalty admitting that they had no option rather than putting a new engine for the rest of Rally Estonia.

The 2019 WRC Champion was able to run only once from the Shakedown session earlier today as his Puma carried an engine issue during his first pass. He left immediately from the stop control and managed to return his car back to the service area where the M-Sport Ford mechanics were forced to replace the nursing engine with a healthy one. This replacement is in accordance with the FIA regulations as the relevant article states that in the case of engine failure between scrutineering and the first time control, it is permitted to replace the engine, but Tanak received a five-minute time penalty for taking a new engine which means that his hopes to win his home event are over. Last but not least, it must be mentioned that he is currently in fourth place overall on the drivers' standings, 42 points behind the championship leader Kalle Rovanpera.

"We have no option but to change the engine, which we can do by regulation, but it will mean that we get a penalty before we start the rally", Millener said.

"It's a really frustrating start to the rally, possibly the worst start we could have had, but that's the situation we find ourselves in.

"It's going to put us at a serious disadvantage from the word go, really, but we've got to switch focus now. 

"There's nothing we can change about what's happened so the focus now will be to try to salvage as much as possible from the event.

"Obviously the biggest disappointment is for Ott and Martin.

"We fully appreciate the country we're in, their home rally, and the expectation and support from the home fans".

Photo Credits: M-Sport

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