Hyundai: "Not impossible" for Neuville to still win Croatia Rally

Thierry Neuville snatching a win on the final day of the Croatia Rally is far from impossible despite a 10.4s deficit to Sebastien Ogier, according to Hyundai boss Andrea Adamo.

Hyundai: "Not impossible" for Neuville to still win Croatia Rally

Four stages totalling 50 competitive miles remain tomorrow and Adamo believes Neuville can still take maximum points, having lost his overnight lead of the WRC's newest Tarmac event with an incorrect tyre choice for Saturday's morning loop.

The Belgian went for two hard and three soft Pirelli tyres, while Toyota driver Ogier chose five hard compound tyres which proved favourable in the warm and sunny conditions.

This dropped Neuville from first place to third on Saturday’s morning loop, although he produced a strong recovery drive on the second pass - helped by a slow front-right puncture for Ogier on stage 13 - to almost halve the Frenchman's 19.6s advantage.

Neuville currently sits third, with the second Toyota of Elfyn Evans between himself and leader Ogier.

Asked if Neuville could turn things around on Sunday, Adamo said: “For sure, he has a chance but the stages tomorrow will be even more different from the ones that we have seen in the past two days.

“I think that it will be entertainment – if that is the proper word in English – for you, but if we want to be realistic nothing is decided.

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Photo by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

“The difference between them is so close it’s difficult to catch up without external factors.

“It’s not impossible – but it will be really tough and a case of managing a high level of pressure and tension during tomorrow.”

Adamo confirmed he would not be initiating team orders as part of his planning for Sunday, insisting every point would prove crucial in the manufacturers’ title race just three rounds into the 2021 season.

“It is too early to play games,” he said.

“I think in this case, with ten seconds, you cannot tell them to back out.

“This title race will be a two-horse battle and you cannot afford to let some points slip through without fighting until the last moment because if you sum up first and second, and third and fourth points, the gap is a lot.

“I think we have to try because I do not want to complain later on in the season about some missed points here and there. Of course, if you put pressure on the one in front it is nice.”

shares
comments

Related video

WRC Rally Croatia: Ogier takes lead as Hyundais struggle on day two
Previous article

WRC Rally Croatia: Ogier takes lead as Hyundais struggle on day two

Next article

Neuville hindered in Croatia WRC fightback by jack problem

Neuville hindered in Croatia WRC fightback by jack problem
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Plus

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022
How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead Plus

How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead

Although the Rally Portugal entry list featured World Rally Championship royalty in Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier, victory was secured by rallying's rising star in Kalle Rovanpera. Here's the story of his 2022 hat-trick, as his key rivals faltered among the gravel and asphalt ahead of them

WRC
May 23, 2022
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Plus

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Plus

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Plus

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Plus

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Autosport donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the trials and tribulations of a rally mechanic

WRC
Apr 17, 2022
The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer Plus

The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer

Taking his first step into the Junior World Rally Championship category, McRae Kimathi - named after 1995 world champion Colin - found himself in the unfamiliar climes of Sweden's snow and ice. Having impressed, Kimathi hopes to blaze a trail to the top level of WRC and help other African drivers to step onto the ladder

WRC
Mar 8, 2022
How Rovanpera grabbed the Rally Sweden spotlight after the Loeb vs Ogier show Plus

How Rovanpera grabbed the Rally Sweden spotlight after the Loeb vs Ogier show

After a blockbuster opening act to the new era of the World Rally Championship with the battle of the Sebastiens at Monte Carlo, Rally Sweden would be the first chance to assess the next superstar of rallying. While teething issues with the new hybrid power thwarted some of the cast, Kalle Rovanpera’s display gave him headline billing

WRC
Feb 28, 2022