Neuville backs more aggressive approach

Thierry Neuville has warned rivals to expect a more aggressive approach from Hyundai in 2019 as it steps up efforts to secure a maiden WRC title.

The Korean manufacturer has tackled five seasons without championship success and has finished runner-up in the drivers' and manufacturers' battles for the past three years.

In an attempt to boost its fortunes ahead of a sixth campaign, starting at this week's Rallye Monte-Carlo (24 - 27 January), Hyundai Motorsport made radical changes in the off-season.

Andrea Adamo replaced Michel Nandan as team director, while nine-time champion Sébastien Loeb bolsters a new four-strong driver line-up.

After three rally wins last year and a title fight with Sébastien Ogier that went to the final round, Neuville expects his team will adopt a more ruthless approach in 2019.

"I think as a team we learned a lot last year. To be much more aggressive on strategies is something we have to bear in mind this time," the Belgian told wrc.com.

"M-Sport started playing strategic games at the second round in Sweden and continued throughout the year. We were probably too kind. If you remember Ogier lost his time card in Sardinia, he could have been out of the race. We were too kind and just let it go. Maybe we lost the title there. I think we will learn from it."

Neuville led calls for a fresh approach in the management team and gave new arrival Adama his full backing.

"We want to be more competitive throughout the whole season. It's no secret that we pushed for changes, some fresh air, and that's what happened," he explained.

"Andrea has joined and other things are going on. It's important for the motivation of our team. After five years now [at Hyundai] I am really excited about this. I have all my trust in Andrea that we will improve and quickly make the necessary changes."

Head to WRC+ to watch All Live from Rallye Monte-Carlo, including every stage broadcast live, breaking service park news and expert studio analysis.


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