Neuville impressed from the outset and was in a close battle for fifth with Mads Ostberg when he rolled on stage 11. He returned under Rally 2 rules on day three but finished outside of the points in his Citroen Junior World Rally Team DS3 WRC.
“For sure his pace was very interesting,” said Nogier. “He decided to push from the start to learn Finland and to see what his limit was. Perhaps he was too optimistic but it was not a big mistake that put him out. He didn’t hear properly the pace note from Nicolas [Gilsoul] and went into the forest. At least he showed he could be fast.”
Of his retirement on day two, Neuville said: “We hit a rock on stage 10 on the racing line, the same one that Chris Atkinson had hit. We continued to drive normally, but we had a lot of vibration and a loud noise that prevented me from hearing Nicolas’ pace notes who also had also lost his voice. On the next stage, I went off on a tight bend. The car went into a roll and we couldn’t manage to get it back on the road.”
“When we crossed the finishing line I felt disappointed because I believed I had it in me to make it to the finish without making any mistakes,” Neuville continued. “My only wish now is to come back to this rally and continue to make progress.”