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Thu 23 Feb 2023

Neuville: 'We showed our intentions'

Thierry Neuville has praised the Hyundai Motorsport team for demonstrating its determination and intention at Rally Sweden earlier this month.

While the Korean firm missed out on the win in Umeå, it did manage a double podium for Craig Breen and Neuville. That result, combined with a Wolf Power Stage win for Esapekka Lappi, is enough to send the squad to México with a smile on its face, according to team principal Cyril Abiteboul.

Neuville said: “I think we showed our plan in Sweden, we showed what the intention is for Hyundai this year. For me, obviously [Sweden] wasn’t the best preparation with me missing some of the test and feeling sick before the start. I’m happy with what we achieved and now we look forward to México.”

The Guanajuato event hasn’t been Neuville’s happiest hunting ground, with third place his best finish in North America.

Starting third on the road offers the Belgian another reason to be cheerful.

“It’s good to see my main championship rivals are ahead of me in México,” he said. “I think it’s going to be an interesting fight.”

Abiteboul was full of positivity exiting round two and bound for the season’s first long-haul event. He added: “We’re all still smiling. He (Neuville) was on the back foot from the start [in Sweden] for lots of reasons, so to be back on the podium is a great story for him. Craig was mega all weekend, in terms of his speed and performance, but also his attitude in understanding the team situation. Overall, a tremendous team result.”