Tanak opts against running number one in 2020

David Evans

Ott Tanak won the WRC title last year and had the right to take the number one for his car this year, but has decided against it and will run number eight instead.

The WRC changed its rules for numbers in 2019 following an F1 and NASCAR-style strategy of allowing drivers to pick numbers rather than the numbers being linked to the team's manufacturer championship finishing position.

Tanak's decision is not an unusual one in motorsport, as Lewis Hamilton also runs with his regular 44 number on his Mercedes F1 car as opposed to taking number one, while NASCAR drivers usually keep their numbers for their entire careers.

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Asked about his decision stick with number eight, Tanak said: "I've had the number eight for the last two years and I didn't see any reason to change."

Elsewhere in the WRC, rookie Kalle Rovanpera has chosen the number 69 for his first season in the Toyota team.

Sebastien Ogier has elected to take number 17.

The third Toyota driver, Elfyn Evans, sticks with 33, while Tanak's new Hyundai teammates Dani Sordo (six) and Thierry Neuville (11) retain their numbers.

Sebastien Loeb changes from 19 to nine – the number of his WRC titles – for this season.

Esapekka Lappi retains the four he used at Citroen – which has now left the WRC – for his move to M-Sport, while Teemu Suninen keeps number three and Gus Greensmith sticks with 44.

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