Ott Tanak has refused to comment on speculation linking him to Toyota for next season, adding “we still have a lot of time”.
Having again been dropped from the M-Sport World Rally Team line-up at the end of 2015, Tanak found a new home with the DMACK World Rally Team, something that has seen him continue to compete in a Fiesta RS WRC, run in close partnership with his former team.
The Estonian has made the most of it too, especially in recent events, and looked poised to win in Poland until a puncture in the penultimate stage dropped him back to second.
He also impressed in Finland, before going off the road on the final day while pushing to recover and take third.
Quizzed on 2017 and rumours Toyota is chasing him, as well as that he has tested with them, Tanak gave little away: “That is 2017, it is still 2016. We still have a lot of time,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, looking to Rallye Deutschland this weekend and asked if he can maintain the same sort of performances that he showed on gravel in Poland and Finland in July, he added: “I think that the progress has been quite normal. Year after year you get some more experience. You start to understand what you need to do to win a rally. At least I am there [now], which is a good feeling.
“Obviously now we are back on tarmac, which is a bit new. It is my least preferred surface, but we have been doing quite okay and also DMACK has provided new rubber, which adds to my confidence as well.”
“They have been working hard, since March or April, on the tarmac tyre. Developing the slick tyre is the most difficult thing to do,” he continued. “The grip and the feeling on tarmac can make some difference; it is just about the feeling from the tyre. That is not so easy, but it seems that things are going well.”
“My aim is to have a good rally and then just to see where we are and keep developing ourselves. I have enjoyed the Rallye Deutschland before and the pace has been okay.
"Let's see,” he concluded.