Tanak edges clear after close Ostberg battle
WRC Rally Finland

Tanak edges clear after close Ostberg battle

Toyota World Rally Championship driver Ott Tanak edged his lead over Mads Ostberg up to 5.8 seconds by the end of the first full day of Rally Finland.

Tanak and Citroen's Ostberg spent Friday embroiled in a huge battle for first position, swapping the lead repeatedly.

When Tanak's Toyota faltered out of a hairpin on the afternoon's opening Oittila stage, Ostberg inched into a lead of just 0.1s - which he held onto on the following Moksi stage as the pair set identical times.

Ostberg then built his cushion up to 1.9s with a strong run on Urria, but after that higher tyre wear on his Citroen than Tanak's Toyota meant his day went downhill.

A stage win for Tanak on Assamaki put him back into the lead by a second, and quicker-than-Ostberg times on the subsequent Aanekoski and Harju stages established his overnight advantage.

Jari-Matti Latvala started the afternoon slowly and lost third to Teemu Suninen on Oittila.

The Toyota driver was soon back in front in that battle, but could not keep pace with the top two and is now 23.1s from the lead.

Suninen later lost out to Hayden Paddon's Hyundai too, and then fell further away with a brake problem on the Harju street stage.

Sebastien Ogier ended the day a canny sixth, and much better placed for the rest of the weekend than WRC title rival Thierry Neuville.

Ogier's M-Sport team-mate Elfyn Evans slowed on the Aanekoski stage to give the champion an extra position before the day two running order was set on results ahead of Harju.

Running second on the road, Ogier had come under growing threat from the recovering Esapekka Lappi and Craig Breen through the afternoon but he and Evans managed to stay just clear of Lappi and Breen was delayed by a fuel feed problem on the final stage.

The same issue hit the third Citroen of Khalid Al-Qassimi, raising fears of trouble for Ostberg.

The lead contender had no trouble, though, suggesting that his longer wait before the stage meant his car was running at a different temperature and did not trigger the glitch.

After his morning spin, Neuville's position at the head of the start order on the dusty roads meant he was the slowest of the WRC frontrunners on most stages and fell away in 10th.

The only consolation is that he won't be first on the road on Saturday because his Hyundai team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen is even further behind thanks to his morning crash.

Mikkelsen did more damage to his i20 clipping a tyre chicane on the street stage and is now 15th overall.

Related news

F1 engine manufacturers will have to share tech with new entrants under new rules

F1 engine manufacturers will have to share tech with new entrants under new rules

Formula One is hoping to attract new engine manufacturers to the grid by introducing rules that require existing manufacturers to share technology with new entrants.

Sebastian Vettel fastest in Abu Dhabi test as Kimi Raikkonen returns to Sauber

Sebastian Vettel fastest in Abu Dhabi test as Kimi Raikkonen returns to Sauber

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time on the first day of Abu Dhabi's post-season test, as his former Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen completed his first day back at Sauber.

Hamilton caps off 2018 with easy win in Abu Dhabi

Hamilton caps off 2018 with easy win in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton won the final race of the Formula One season in Abu Dhabi, crowning his championship-winning 2018 campaign with an 11th victory from 21 races.

Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel to pole for Abu Dhabi finale

Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel to pole for Abu Dhabi finale

Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position at the final race of the 2018 season after securing the fastest qualifying time by 0.162s in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton leads Kimi Raikkonen in final practice for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton leads Kimi Raikkonen in final practice for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton finished the final practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets as Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen emerged as his closest competitor.

Valtteri Bottas pips Max Verstappen by 0.044s to top second practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas pips Max Verstappen by 0.044s to top second practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas topped the second practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Mercedes and Red Bull battled each other for the fastest time under Yas Marina's floodlights.

Max Verstappen leads comfortable Red Bull one-two in first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice

Max Verstappen leads comfortable Red Bull one-two in first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice

Max Verstappen was comfortably quickest after the first practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, finishing the session 0.454s quicker than teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Dovizioso triumphs in wild rain-hit finale

Dovizioso triumphs in wild rain-hit finale

Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso emerged victorious in a stop-start, attrition-heavy 2018 MotoGP season finale at a wet Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

Latvala wins in Australia, WRC title for Ogier

Latvala wins in Australia, WRC title for Ogier

Toyota driver Jari-Matti Latvala won Rally Australia, while crashes for Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak helped seal a sixth World Rally Championship title for M-Sport Ford's Sebastien Ogier.

RELATED NEWS

F1 engine manufacturers will have to share tech with new entrants under new rules
F1 news

F1 engine manufacturers will have to share tech with new entrants under new rules

Formula One is hoping to attract new engine manufacturers to the grid by introducing rules that require existing manufacturers to share technology with new entrants.

Sebastian Vettel fastest in Abu Dhabi test as Kimi Raikkonen returns to Sauber
Abu Dhabi test

Sebastian Vettel fastest in Abu Dhabi test as Kimi Raikkonen returns to Sauber

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time on the first day of Abu Dhabi's post-season test, as his former Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen completed his first day back at Sauber.

Hamilton caps off 2018 with easy win in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Hamilton caps off 2018 with easy win in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton won the final race of the Formula One season in Abu Dhabi, crowning his championship-winning 2018 campaign with an 11th victory from 21 races.

Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel to pole for Abu Dhabi finale
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel to pole for Abu Dhabi finale

Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position at the final race of the 2018 season after securing the fastest qualifying time by 0.162s in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton leads Kimi Raikkonen in final practice for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP3

Lewis Hamilton leads Kimi Raikkonen in final practice for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton finished the final practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets as Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen emerged as his closest competitor.

Valtteri Bottas pips Max Verstappen by 0.044s to top second practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP2

Valtteri Bottas pips Max Verstappen by 0.044s to top second practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas topped the second practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Mercedes and Red Bull battled each other for the fastest time under Yas Marina's floodlights.

Max Verstappen leads comfortable Red Bull one-two in first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP1

Max Verstappen leads comfortable Red Bull one-two in first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice

Max Verstappen was comfortably quickest after the first practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, finishing the session 0.454s quicker than teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Dovizioso triumphs in wild rain-hit finale
Valencia Grand Prix

Dovizioso triumphs in wild rain-hit finale

Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso emerged victorious in a stop-start, attrition-heavy 2018 MotoGP season finale at a wet Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

Latvala wins in Australia, WRC title for Ogier
Rally Australia

Latvala wins in Australia, WRC title for Ogier

Toyota driver Jari-Matti Latvala won Rally Australia, while crashes for Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak helped seal a sixth World Rally Championship title for M-Sport Ford's Sebastien Ogier.