Hyundai Motorsports Thierry Neuville bounced back from a difficult season opening Monte Carlo Rally to claim a third place finish in the 2021 FIA World Rally Champion season opener in Monte Carlo having overhauled Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Kalle Rovanpera on the final day to claim third place overall.
Speaking following the event the Belgian commented saying:
A challenging start to the new season for us, especially after a late co-driver change. We were able to find a solution to be competitive and, step by step, Martijn and me were able to find more confidence in the car to improve our collaboration and to improve our speed day by day. To finish on the podium is a satisfying result considering the situation we have faced. The job in the car has been really impressive considering the difficulties of Monte.
Dani Sordo in the remaining i20 Coupe WRC came home in fifth place overall claiming a bonus point in the drivers and two in the manuafacturers championship through the power stage and speaking following the action he said:
We haven’t had a very good rally, so to take some manufacturers’ points away is some consolation. From the beginning, we have not really been on the pace and I am not particularly happy with myself, to be honest. We have faced some incredibly tricky stages and there have been some parts where I have just lacked confidence. The only thing we’ve been able to do is survive: to bring the car home and to score points for the team. At the end of the year, they could be very important. We need to reset and go to the next one with full power. It is sad to finish my partnership with Carlos; we’ve had some good results over the years, and it’s been great to work with him.”
Ott Tanak was forced to retire from the event on Saturday following a double puncture and speaking following the event, Team Principal of Hyundai Andrea Adamo commented saying:
This rally has finished in the same way it has gone all weekend. Clearly, it has been totally wrong. I don’t know if it is the approach of the people, or whatever, but today we have again shown our limits. For sure, it was not the case to push because we were just licking our wounds and trying to get ahead. I personally have to have a deep rethink on many things because what I have seen this weekend is far from something to make me proud and happy. Something in the approach has to be changed. I would like to add a final word for Carlos to mark his final event with our team; to extend my thanks to him for his efforts over the past three seasons, including two memorable victories alongside Dani in Sardinia. We wish him well in the next chapter of his career