Hyundai Motorsport team principal Andrea Adamo isn’t interested in using Dani Sordo as a scapegoat following his crash out of second place on Rally Italy on the penultimate stage of Saturday.
Hyundai had dominated the early stages of the event, winning the first nine stages as Ott Tänak pulled clear and Sordo was tucked behind in second.
Tänak continued that form into Saturday but it all went wrong on the final stage before midday service as he hit a rock and broke something on his i20 Coupe WRC – the second rally in as many weeks that fate had befallen the 2019 world champion when leading.
Sordo was overhauled by Sébastien Ogier on Saturday morning who assumed the lead when Tänak retired, but Sordo was doing enough to keep Elfyn Evans behind him until he ran slightly off line and clipped something in a ditch which prompted his Hyundai into a roll.
Thierry Neuville is third, but Toyota is set for a perfect score in the manufacturer’s standings on a rally where Hyundai looked to have an edge.
Asked if he could take any consolation in the fact this latest Hyundai setback was potentially a driver mistake rather than a mechanical mishap, Adamo said “we are here to win as a team and we lose as a team”.
“How can I get consolation saying it’s a driver mistake,” he said. “I’m not here blaming drivers, team this and that.
“The worst [thing] that you can do now is to chase who made a mistake, it’s stupid. I think we have enough tension in this moment. When you have this kind of moment, the worst you can do is to try and have a scapegoat.
“Once you have a scapegoat, what do you get? Do we really need now to blame Dani now for a mistake? I’m sure I’d be more stupid than I am now. Now in this moment we have to understand where we have to improve and it’s clear, we know where, it’s not something that is so difficult to understand and we have to stay calm as long as possible.
“But the least that we can do is to go around and make me or someone else pointing the fingers around to someone.”
Adamo added that he wasn’t interested in trying to rally or motivate the team – “motivation is a word that is used and abused in my opinion” – as he doesn’t want to dress up a bad situation
“In this moment the least that my people need, being as sad as me, is me joking around and things like this. We are focused [on] doing our job, there is a moment to work, there is a moment to hug, there is a moment to stay focused on what you’re doing because now we have to do our job, prepare the car for tomorrow and let’s see.
“It’s not a matter of hug and say ‘next time it will be better’ or this kind of stupid things that are good for movies. But in real life, not completely always.
“For sure, it’s frustrating but it’s not the end until it’s end,” Adamo continued.
“The worst [thing] you can do if you have a winning mentality is to go up and down like a rollercoaster.
“The winner is the one who is still pushing until the last minute and I think the one leading now [Ogier] is the best example.”