Neuville: I've proved I can be clever enough for WRC success

Thierry Neuville believes his World Rally Championship podiums this year have proved he can be 'clever' enough to succeed at the top level

Neuville: I've proved I can be clever enough for WRC success

The Belgian struggled to complete events without incident in his rookie season in Citroen's junior team in 2012, and then commenced his M-Sport career this year with an early crash while running fourth on the Monte Carlo Rally.

But he took his maiden WRC podium in Mexico and added another one last weekend in Greece.

Coupled with two other top-four finishes, those results have elevated Neuville to fifth in the championship, ahead of team-mates Mads Ostberg and Evgeny Novikov plus Citroen works driver Dani Sordo, approaching mid-season.

"I didn't think this would come so soon," Neuville admitted. "I showed speed last year, but now I want to show that I can go to the finish of rallies.

"Especially in Greece this was very important for me. This result, especially for the future, shows that I can be clever as well.

"Sometimes it's not so easy. I think like a 24-year-old who is young in the head. It's not easy to see the [faster] times and then to think I can do the same, but I am not allowed..."

Asked if his performance was a sign of a new approach, Neuville replied: "not a new one, but a clever one. I will come back a bit to a faster pace and try to stay on the road.

"Finding the way between them both is one of the hardest things for a driver with less experience. But it has gone great."

shares
comments
Acropolis Rally: Citroen's protest against Volkswagen rejected

Previous article

Acropolis Rally: Citroen's protest against Volkswagen rejected

Next article

VW never lost faith in Jari-Matti Latvala, says boss Jost Capito

VW never lost faith in Jari-Matti Latvala, says boss Jost Capito
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Thierry Neuville
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021