Hyundai makes decision on Neuville penalty appeal

Deputy team director Julien Moncet still isn't happy but won't lodge a formal appeal

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Hyundai Motorsport deputy team principal Julien Moncet has confirmed to DirtFish that his squad will not contest Thierry Neuville’s penalty for speeding at last week’s Croatia Rally.

The Belgian was hit with a one-minute time penalty and two days’ community service for him and co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe after the data showed them traveling at 96.9mph in a 50mph limit on the opening day of the Zagreb-based event.

Moncet told DirtFish: “As a team we have decided not to go ahead with the appeal.

“We do not contest the mistake, but we still find the time penalty is severe sporting-wise.”

Moncet added that he was keen to look for an alternative to the current system.

“We would like to work with FIA and other manufacturers to think of a different system of penalties in such cases in the future,” he said.

Hyundai had initially filed an intention to appeal to give itself a 96-hour window to analyze and prepare for whether to file a formal protest against the penalty.

Neuville’s speeding offense came as a consequence of attempting to make up time lost on a road section due to a failed alternator.

Not only did they travel at nearly twice the speed limit but the alternator issue also necessitated pushing his Hyundai i20 N Rally into service time control over a distance of nearly 800 meters.


While Moncet did not dispute the nature of the rule breach committed, he felt the extra time penalty beyond the fine and community service was an unnecessary added punishment.

“When we saw Thierry and Martijn pushing the car, they were exhausted, completely red, completely burned out, and it was really, really difficult then after all these efforts to say ‘yes, but unfortunately you have on top a one-minute penalty’,” he said.

“I think you have for sure the safety, this is clear, and I would say as well the sporting aspect.”

Had Hyundai successfully overturned the one-minute penalty in question there would have been no change to the overall classification, as Neuville was 2m16.7s behind second-placed team-mate Ott Tänak.