NEUVILLE CALLS FOR ‘FLAT-OUT’ DEVELOPMENT TO CONTINUE
Thierry Neuville has warned there is still plenty to do to bring Hyundai Motorsport’s i20 N Rally1 up to speed despite the car’s maiden FIA World Rally Championship podium in Sweden.
The Alzenau-based team endured a hugely disappointing opening to the WRC’s hybrid-powered era at Rallye Monte-Carlo in January before bouncing back with Neuville’s second place at last month’s snow and ice event.
However, Neuville has urged his Hyundai colleagues not to be blindsided by the Swedish performance.
“We know we are not there yet,” said the Belgian. “We know we don’t have the car where we want it to be, but it’s good that we have this break now before Croatia and I’m sure we can work flat-out on the car to make it better on Tarmac. Hopefully we will be able to be competitive when we get there.
“I know everybody is working for this and I know we have the full support of the Koreans back at headquarters.”
Neuville praised the work of deputy team principal Julien Moncet who took over the reins at the team following the sudden departure of Andrea Adamo in December.
“He’s doing a good job, he’s keeping everybody motivated. I think the result we took from Sweden is promising for the future,” Neuville added.
Both Neuville and Ott Tänak led in Sweden, the Estonian winning four speed tests and Neuville two.
Next month’s Croatia Rally (21 – 24 April) marks the first pure sealed-surface encounter for the new generation of cars.