Monte-Carlo driver report: Part 1
How did the top drivers fare in the final round of the 2014 WRC season?
The Belgian finished his first Monte in style, taking fifth place from his Hyundai Motorsport team-mate Dani Sordo on the final Power Stage by just 0.8sec.
It was a good result for Hyundai too, compared to a miserable WRC debut at last year’s Monte when neither of its i20 World Rally Cars made it past the opening day and Neuville failed to complete even the first stage.
“It was important for me to finish after I failed on my four previous attempts, so it feels great that this time was the good one,” Neuville told wrc.com.
“After the disappointment of last season of course I started very carefully. We knew that on this rally something happens every day, and we didn’t want to be in that group. Towards the end, when the conditions got better and I felt more confortable, I decided to push and try and catch Dani. That wasn’t easy but we managed.”
Armed with the 2014-season i20 until its replacement is introduced later this year, Neuville was satisfied with his pace relative to the updated machinery from VW and Citroen.
“I think we have done our maximum and have found our place,” he said. “At the moment it would be impossible for us to beat the VWs on the rallies, and even the Citroens are quite strong. But yeah, they made some mistakes, we made up some places and finally we took some good manufacturers’ championship points.
“It also means we have a good road position to start Rally Sweden. That’s another event where I’ll be looking for a good points finish. Then from Mexico onwards I think we will be stronger,” he added.