Hyundai Motorsport team director Andrea Adamo admits he has been ‘amazed’ by Sébastien Loeb’s contribution to the team since he joined the Korean manufacturer at the start of the current WRC season.
The Frenchman scored his maiden podium in an i20 WRC at last week’s Copec Rally Chile, the fourth of his planned six-rally 2019 programme.
Adamo said: “When we announced that Sébastien and Daniel [Elena] would be joining us for this season, lots of people asked me what I was doing and what they would bring?
“Now I can tell you they bring motivation to the team. As well, they are bringing hard work and an ability to change and to do things differently.
“When you see somebody like them – people who won nine world titles – and they are changing their approach to rallies; watching the videos and learning from the younger guys on how to do this, doing things a different way and doing things they didn’t used to do, it’s impressive.
“These guys don’t need to do this. Séb could stay at home if he wanted to. But he comes and he does this and my team is so impressed and we are working harder and harder to support these guys. If somebody like Loeb is willing to put himself in doubt and try to improve, we – who have won nothing – have to improve more.”
Eighth after the opening stage in Chile, Loeb battled through the field to start Sunday fighting Sébastien Ogier for second. Ultimately, the Citroën driver took the runners-up spot, but there could be no doubting the impact Loeb had.
“When I watched the work he was doing at lunchtime on Friday, I was amazed,” said Adamo. “He was, all the time, watching the onboards and working, working, working. The first day was really difficult, but those guys kept going and what they achieved was a fantastic result.”
Loeb is scheduled to make two further appearances for Hyundai this season.