Mon 12 Sep 2022

Moncet: We cannot satisfy everybody

Hyundai Motorsport’s deputy team principal Julien Moncet has responded to claims his team should have allowed Ott Tänak to win EKO Acropolis Rally Greece.

The Korean manufacturer squad made history on Sunday by taking its first-ever 1-2-3 finish, with Thierry Neuville leading home a commanding trio of i20 N cars followed by Ott Tänak and Dani Sordo. 

Despite overseeing the dream result, Moncet has faced criticism over Hyundai’s decision not to ask Neuville to move aside so that Tänak could take the maximum 25 points. 

Tänak currently sits second in the drivers’ championship standings with Neuville third. While the odds of either driver catching leader Kalle Rovanperä are stacked against them, Tänak is in the strongest position of the Hyundai pair. 

Speaking after the finish, Moncet held firm and refused to enter into any discussions over the tactics. 

“Some people will disagree and some people will agree, but we cannot satisfy everybody,” Moncet told WRC.com. “We made the decision together as a team based on all criteria, so we decided to freeze the positions and go for it. 

“The triple podium was really the target, so you can be happy with our decision or you can disagree. It doesn’t matter - this is what we have decided,” he added.

Hyundai now trails Toyota Gazoo Racing by 63 points in the manufacturers’ title fight with three rounds remaining.  

The team was slow out of the blocks at the beginning of this season’s new hybrid era but has since found the sweet spot with back-to-back wins at the previous three rallies. Moncet admitted the turnaround has been very impressive.

“To be honest, I can understand the critics (from earlier in the year},” he said. “I think everyone would not have put a single euro on us at the start of the season - especially after Monte-Carlo.

“We knew it would be difficult, but I also knew deep inside that it would be possible to come back and catch up. The team hasn’t changed - it’s the same good people and structure - we are just a bit late.

“It was not a question of if, it was a question of when. We were maybe not expecting to come back as quickly as this or to score as much as this, but we managed to do it and it’s really amazing.”

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