At the end of a disappointing day for the new kids on the block, Thierry Neuville explained what happened on the opening stage of this year’s Monte Carlo Rally this morning.
The Hyundai Shell i20 WRC driver said: “It was a difficult start for us with our new team and our new car. On the first stage this morning, we were too fast into a tight right-hand corner, the car understeered and we hit a pole with the rear. Unfortunately, we couldn’t continue and that was the end of Rallye Monte-Carlo for us. We had the information from our weather crews that rain was coming and the stage would have been wet, but it was snowing and the conditions were really bad in there. I really want to move on from this and focus on Rally Sweden, where we want to come back strongly.”
Sordo commented: “We are really upset that our rally has ended so early and particularly when we were showing such good performance. We were in the top three for most of the day so it is a real shame that we couldn’t continue. We had a good morning loop and the Hyundai i20 WRC was working well. We made the right tyre choice and set good times. Conditions in the first stage were really bad and it was easy to make a mistake."
He added: "SS2 was better with more grip and by the end of the loop we had good times without taking any risks. After lunch, we had a good run in SS4 with the second fastest time but on the way to the next stage we stopped to check tyre pressures and when we went to restart the car, it wouldn’t start. We tried to find the problem, which seemed to be electrical, but there was nothing we could do. We need to investigate more deeply to understand what happened, but it was a sudden and frustrating end to a promising start to our first WRC rally.”