Hyundai WRC team adamant it won't drop Thierry Neuville for 2016

Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan has moved to dispel lingering speculation about Thierry Neuville's future, despite the Belgian ending his troubled 2015 World Rally Championship season with another crash

Hyundai WRC team adamant it won't drop Thierry Neuville for 2016

After a run of poor form, Neuville was dropped from the main Hyundai team to run in the second-string #20 i20 WRC for Rally GB, swapping places with Dani Sordo.

He had been linked with a return to either Citroen - before its decision to take a year out - or M-Sport for 2016 following his recent problems at Hyundai, but Nandan dismissed this.

"I am sure we will see the old Thierry again very soon," he told Autosport.

"And I'm not 100 per cent sure he will be a Hyundai driver next season, I am 200 per cent sure."

The aim of the GB reshuffle was to see if Neuville could regain confidence without the pressure of the battle for second in the manufacturers' championship.

He was an early retirement from the opening day when the left-rear wheel fell off his Hyundai.

Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul changed tyres before the Myherin stage and the team suspects the wheel stud was cross-threaded or contaminated with mud.

Running first on the road on Saturday morning, Neuville was fastest on Gartheiniog and Dyfi but then crashed on Dyfnant.

Nandan refused to criticise Neuville for the accident.

"Where Thierry crashed was a very bad place in Wales," he said.

"He was first on the road and the first to find this place. That could have happened to anybody.

"I am happy we made the right decision with our drivers for GB; Thierry was able to set very good times and the confidence is coming."

After starting the year in a battle for a Rally Sweden win, Neuville's downturn in form has kept him off the podium since June's Rally Italy.

shares
comments
Analysis: Will Citroen's WRC hiatus pay off as it did in 2006?

Previous article

Analysis: Will Citroen's WRC hiatus pay off as it did in 2006?

Next article

Ott Tanak dropped by M-Sport for 2016 World Rally Championship

Ott Tanak dropped by M-Sport for 2016 World Rally Championship
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021