Thierry Neuville complaining about feeling uncomfortable in his car is becoming a common theme in the Rally1 era of the World Rally Championship.
Last season he often expressed how he couldn’t feel at one with the car, especially on asphalt, and how his i20 N Rally1 felt nervous at high speed.
This year has been no different.
“Yeah, I mean we have a lot of ups and downs between the rallies,” Neuville told DirtFish in Croatia.
“We can see that some rallies we are strong and some rallies we are really below the pace.
“Here this weekend it was very difficult, very challenging. Not only because the roads and conditions are very challenging but also because I couldn’t feel comfortable in the car since the beginning and I never really got 100% comfortable.
“So it made it difficult but we kept fighting. I made a little mistake, so we need to work on that.”
But why are we hearing the same complaints from Neuville? Well, he might be asking the same thing.
Although the Hyundai is definitely a more reliable car so far in 2023 compared to previous seasons, Neuville doesn’t think there’s been that much progress in the asphalt spec of his i20 N.
Despite him asking for it.
“The feedback was similar to Monte Carlo,” he said. “It was similar to some Tarmac events last year.
“And we didn’t get the improvement we were asking for. So we’re gonna work on that.
“I think the team could see this weekend again that there is room for improvement and we need to do that.”
And when it comes to the improvement Neuville is looking for, it all comes down to one main element – which Neuville believes caused the incident that dumped him out of the lead.
“This weekend the car was very nervous,” he explained.
“I mean smooth roads I was comfortable with it but obviously with the speed and the small bumps, it made it very challenging.
“You can go fast, but the risk is high.
“So yeah, at the end it came what had to come at some point. We really were fighting hard and we couldn’t avoid the mistake.”