Hyundai Motorsport boss Michel Nandan believes his team must improve the asphalt performance of its i20 Coupe World Rally Car despite Thierry Neuville’s victory in Corsica last weekend
Neuville won the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse by almost a minute, and team-mate Dani Sordo was on course to net the Korean manufacturer a 1-2 finish before being edged out of second place by Sébastien Ogier in the final speed test.
But Neuville trailed Kris Meeke’s Citroën C3 and Ogier’s Ford Fiesta during the opening leg as he struggled with the i20’s set-up and Nandan admitted more work is needed to improve the i20’s performance.
“I think it needs to be a little bit better, I think we are a bit behind,” he said. “The Citroën has shown it’s a fantastic car on Tarmac and for sure we have to work on that, especially for the next Tarmac events. But I’m quite sure the engineers will find a good solution to improve the car.”
Neuville was the fourth different driver to win in as many events since the start of the season and the win brought relief to the squad after he crashed out of the lead in both Monte-Carlo and Sweden.
Nandan was confident there would be no problems this time as Neuville went into Sunday’s final leg with almost 40sec in hand over Ogier, an advantage he extended when the Frenchman hit electrical problems.
“I think one step was done on Saturday evening. We knew the difference in time was good enough to carry into those Sunday stages so we were not too anxious.
“And then we know that we are always behind Thierry even after his two small mistakes in the first events. We knew anyway that he will do it,” said Nandan.