Wednesday | 28 Oct 2015

Paddon frustrated by Neuville crash

Hayden Paddon outlined his frustration at Hyundai team-mate Thierry Neuville’s penultimate stage accident in Spain which cost the squad vital points in its battle with Citroën for the runners-up spot in the WRC manufacturers’ championship.

Neuville slid off on a left corner midway through Sunday’s second pass of the 19.30km Pratdip stage. He lost almost five minutes and finished eighth, leaving Hyundai four points behind the French squad with one round remaining.

With Paddon ready to let Neuville move ahead of him to maximise Hyundai’s points score, the Belgian would have finished sixth and the teams would have been tied in the standings.

Assuming Neuville had made an error, Paddon and co-driver John Kennard hit out at him in the cockpit after the flying finish and again to media at the stop line. However, immediately after the crash Neuville told co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul that something had broken on his i20.

Paddon will replace the out-of form Neuville in the Korean manufacturer’s lead squad at Wales Rally GB (12 - 15 November). Sunday’s incident increases the pressure on him and Dani Sordo to overhaul Citroën.

Thierry Neuville - penultimate stage crash

“It’s frustrating for the whole team, it’s not the first time it has happened. It’s clear we were going to give him the position so there was no reason for him to be pushing,” Paddon told

“In the heat of the moment you probably say things I probably shouldn’t have. At the time I didn’t realise he had a technical problem. But regardless it’s not great for the team. The points difference would have been the same if it was all going according to plan, but unfortunately we have now lost some points to Citroën.”

Neuville said the incident wasn’t how he wanted to conclude what was ‘a very positive event’.

“We had a transmission issue which pitched us into a ditch. We lost five minutes and had to run the Power Stage with two-wheel drive. It was unlucky, but thankfully we got the car home and could gain a position at the end to finish eighth,” he said.

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