Thierry Neuville has bemoaned some “random” electrical issues that keep plaguing the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, revealing they have affected the team on the past four rounds of the World Rally Championship.
Hyundai had an Acropolis Rally to forget. Ott Tänak did finish second but was consistently struggling to feel at one with his car and was slowed by gremlins, while Neuville lost his power-steering and Dani Sordo struggled to find the ultimate pace.
But Neuville told DirtFish on Friday that he had also had an electrical problem.
“I think the last four events I struggled with the same issues, more or less,” he said. “We have had it in Kenya, we had it in Estonia, we had it in other events.”
Asked about the problems a day later, Neuville said: “Today the car was working fine [but] obviously there’s some random issues that are coming back, [it] looks like they’re not always exactly the same but the result is the same.
“It didn’t cost us really a lot of time, it just complicates our day yesterday but the power-steering issue was the biggest trouble and the time loss.”
Reflecting further on the situation at the end of the event, Neuville said he wanted to refrain from any further “judgment” but confessed “we’re definitely going to have some more discussions during the debrief and the following days”.
“As a driver, you put a lot of effort into your championship and you always try to do as good as you can; it doesn’t always work as you want, it does for nobody, but we got hit many times this year by technical issues,” he added.
“It cost us a victory already in Safari, we have had cars in the lead many times and we had trouble, and the electrical issues I’ve carried with me for four rallies now, it’s just disturbing the whole thing.
“So like I say, we are a team, we stand together and we’re going to fight hard. If it won’t be for this year it will be for next year.”
Hyundai team principal Andrea Adamo was asked about Neuville’s comments by DirtFish at the end of the Acropolis Rally, and although he disagreed with the summary that there have been problems for four rallies – saying “it’s not exactly like this, it’s much less” – he did agree it “remains unacceptable”.
“It cannot be that we have sometimes the same problem again, and now I’m over upset,” he said.
Adamo was also asked about the engine stalling issue that has become apparent over this season, with both Neuville and Ott Tänak growing frustrated with the car’s habit of cutting out easily.
It was a problem that briefly halted Tänak on the first day of the Acropolis.
“It’s not a matter [of whether] it’s the first time or not the first time, it’s also a regulation to respect and we cannot change all the things as they are,” Adamo said.
“There are things that are not happening before with the evolution that we have done, and some things are getting better, some things are getting worse.
“Let me say, there are things that we should have solved. If you want to say somehow that we are not doing the things properly, you have the right to say that.
“In this moment I’m not happy.”