But the real way in which he expresses his personality is on his head and on his wrist, with collection of bespoke glasses and watches.
Another one of his deals (yes, he’s a sharp businessman too) is with Ice watches. Together, Thierry and his watchmakers have teamed up to make a collection of FIA World Rally Championship timepieces: each one emblazoned with the colour of every country the series visits. So it’s red, white and green for Italy at the moment, while a number of Citroen team members were also sporting red, white and blue tricolor watches in France a couple of weeks ago. He’s clearly sparked a new trend.
“It’s just a random idea we had but it turned out to be a lot of fun and many people noticed them,” says Neuville. “Next stop is Spain, so I’m looking forward to wearing my new yellow and red watch! I’ve got a few of them now but I’ve not got round to counting how many: I just like collecting them.”
Collecting is clearly in his blood, as Thierry also has “around 15 or 16” pairs of glasses - again in a wide variety of colours. This time, it’s as much of a technical partnership as a fashion statement.
“I try out different types of glasses and frame designs that could be good for racing,” explains the Belgian star. “You obviously need glasses that give you clear vision, but also they need to grip your head well and be as light as possible, so that you don’t really notice that you are wearing them. I’m able to give some feedback to the company that makes them, and then they can evolve the design if it’s necessary.”
His current favourite is the wrap-around orange pair that he is wearing in Italy: these also did Rallye de France-Alsace where he finished a career-best fourth overall. But as well as normal clear and black frames, Thierry also has glasses in yellow and blue.
Should he ever need an alternative career, expect to see a ‘Thierry’s Accessories’ shop opening somewhere near you. For now he’s intent on battling back up the leaderboard on Rally Italia Sardegna following his exit on Friday morning in his Qatar World Rally Team Citroen DS3 WRC.