Neuville: late push not enough

Thierry Neuville says he knew his final stage attack would not be enough to snatch a dramatic Rallye Monte-Carlo victory from Sébastien Ogier last weekend.

The Belgian started the rally-closing Wolf Power Stage only 0.4sec behind Ogier after a fierce battle throughout the four-day encounter in the French Alps.

He clawed back a 4.3sec deficit in the three previous final leg speed tests in the mountains above Monaco, but could not maintain his charge. He slipped to a 2.2sec defeat by the world champion, who celebrated a sixth consecutive Monte-Carlo success.

“The feeling ahead of the stage was really good and on the previous stage the car was working so well,” he said. “Towards the end of the stage I struggled with the brakes and crossing the line we knew probably this would not be enough.”

The Hyundai i20 driver acknowledged that a 20sec overshoot in Friday afternoon’s Valdrome - Sigottier test proved too much to overcome.

He drew comparisons with his thrilling win in Italy last year when he overturned a 0.8sec gap in the last stage to beat the Frenchman by 0.7sec.

“This time we found somebody stronger. If I remember back in Sardinia, we were able to win the challenge, but this time it was a bit more difficult. We closed the gap and put pressure on him, but the result is not what we wanted. But in the end, it is important points,” he said.


More News