The Korean manufacturer slipped 21 points adrift of Toyota Gazoo Racing at the gravel fixture after mechanical issues with the Hyundai i20 blighted Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo’s event.
The squad’s chances of securing back-to-back titles appeared to be receding and Adamo hosted a frank and open meeting the day after the rally in which team members were encouraged to voice their opinions.
“In my opinion we are world champions because we had the possibility after Mexico to do a proper rally debrief on Sunday morning,” Adamo told WRC TV.
Video: ACI Rally Monza highlights
“It was a debrief that lasted a good five hours. It was the moment that I understood we had to start to turn the approach that we had until that moment and put on the table all the things that in my opinion were not working maybe before.
“In this moment they exploded and we clearly try out the way we had to improve in many directions. It was a good moment because I saw for the first time, of course we were working together not long, Thierry and Ott [Tänak] explaining clearly what they needed better from the car.”
Nearly six months later a revitalised squad emerged from lockdown to fight back over the final four rounds and retain the title by five points at last weekend’s ACI Rally Monza.
“We did a clear list of the jobs that we should have done. The jobs that we did were in lockdown at home, so we did a clear plan where we had to improve, which direction, how strong,” Adamo added.
“We really speak clearly with each other, clearly put on the table where we had to improve. Openly exchanging opinions without hiding nothing from each other helped us to make the next step that brought its first results in Estonia.”
Adamo believes this year’s title triumph reflected more on the outright performance of the i20 than the 2019 success.
“I permit to say that in the last five rallies that we contested after July / August, the performances of the car have been much better,” he reflected.
“In 2019 I have no problem to say that in my opinion we won the manufacturers’ title because were more ‘rallyable’ overall with respect to the others, but the performances of the car were behind.
“I would say that this year we have shown more clearly that our performances, starting from Estonia, have been improved clearly. If we were leading a rally it was not because someone retired but because we were faster.”