Thu 06 Apr 2023

Abiteboul gives Lappi clear message following Mexico setback

Hyundai Motorsport team principal Cyril Abiteboul has told Esapekka Lappi to put his Rally Guanajuato Mexico crash behind him and move on to show the same speed in the coming rounds.

For the second event in succession, Lappi was showing stellar form aboard the Hyundai i20 N Rally1, only to get caught out and crash into a powerline on the second day of the Guanajuato event.

Abiteboul was clear in his message to the Korean squad’s new Finnish signing: he wants him to continue at the same pace.

“After the crash he said it himself,” said Abiteboul. “He said that he was being a little bit conservative, he didn’t feel he was really pushing enough and he made that millisecond mistake.  

“We were all gutted for Esapekka and Janne [Ferm – co-driver] – but they have to move on. Esapekka has shown the speed in Sweden and in México. He really needs to keep the speed and keep what he’s doing. The results will come.”

This month’s fourth round of the series takes crews back to the asphalt in Croatia, where Lappi will be keen to further the experience he built in the i20 on a largely dry, season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Lappi’s full-time Hyundai team-mate Thierry Neuville has finished all three 2023 rounds on the podium.

Rewatch: Lappi goes from leader to despair in Mexico
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