Neuville warns Hyundai it must improve against Toyota in 2019 WRC

Thierry Neuville has warned his Hyundai World Rally Championship team that it has "no chance" of beating Ott Tanak and Toyota in 2019 without a step up in car development

Neuville warns Hyundai it must improve against Toyota in 2019 WRC

As the runner-up in the 2018 drivers' standings, Neuville has not restricted his criticism his team's management, as he also lambasted his Hyundai team-mates for a lack of support throughout the year.

"For sure, if we don't grow in speed and performance, we have no chance [against Ott Tanak and Toyota] next year," Neuville told Autosport.

"We need development and now we're going to see; it's a general improvement we need, it's not just one place where we need to make the car faster."

Hyundai's plans for its full 2019 driver line-up remain a mystery, which is expected to be unravelled by the end of next week following an extended end-of-season briefing for the whole team in Seoul.

But Neuville argues that whoever drives alongside him at the team in 2019 needs to secure improved results.

Neuville is the only driver to win for Hyundai since Hayden Paddon's Rally Argentina success early in 2016 - a statistic he feels was highlighted after another season that ended without a title.

"I am on my own a lot of the time," said Neuville. "I think you can see this year - the other teams had good support for their drivers, but I didn't really have this.

"Of course this is going to make it difficult for the [manufacturers'] championship [too]."

Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan accepted the challenge issued by his number one driver.

"I don't know what they [Toyota] have planned for their development," he said.

"But everybody is working on next season and we have to hurry up and catch-up.

"That's all I can say. We have things in work. We had the new engine [in Neuville's car] in Australia - this had a new specification of cylinder head - and we have just to continue and do the same with more work.

"Through the winter, we will be working more on the engine, the transmission and the suspension is something where we are working regularly. This will not stop."

shares
comments
Skoda Motorsport scales back for 2019 WRC2 season, Tidemand exits

Previous article

Skoda Motorsport scales back for 2019 WRC2 season, Tidemand exits

Next article

Virtual chicanes 'would work perfectly' - leading Rally GB figure

Virtual chicanes 'would work perfectly' - leading Rally GB figure
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Thierry Neuville
Teams Toyota Racing
Author David Evans
Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages Plus

Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages

Three years after a Dakar Rally crash resulted in him being airlifted to hospital, Andre Villas-Boas is preparing to make his debut on his home round of the World Rally Championship later this month. His goals for the event are modest, but the same cannot be said for the charities he plans to promote where his true impact could be felt

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
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