Hyundai, WRC Constructors’ Champion in 2019 and 2020, confronted a number of reliability points throughout a very troublesome begin to the brand new hybrid period at Rallye Monte-Carlo, placing the marque nicely behind rivals Toyota and M- Ford Sports activities.
This week, the crew got here collectively to work by their points. The deputy director of the construction, Julien Moncet, confirmed that his workers must “redouble your efforts” to catch his opponents. All through the weekend, the efficiency of the i20 N improved, however its reliability points, be it engine, hybrid or suspension, proved to be detrimental.
Solely one of many three i20 Ns reached the end. Thierry Neuville was sixth, however 7 minutes and 42 seconds behind rally winner Sebastien Loeb after dropping time with a damaged proper entrance shock absorber. The Belgian additionally described his automobile as being “horrifying” to drive on the Friday levels, however was in a position to win one on Sunday.
Hyundai opted to retire Oliver Solberg on Sunday after the Swede and his co-driver Elliott Edmondson felt unwell after being subjected to exhaust fumes of their automobile for 2 days. This drawback contributed to the lack of focus for Solberg, who went off the highway on the 10th stage, thus dropping 35 minutes.
Ott Tänak was pressured to retire in a single day from Saturday to Sunday after hitting a rock wall whereas using on slick tires in an icy part of the 11th particular. He had had a puncture earlier than and solely had one spare wheel, so when a second puncture got here after the crash it ended his rally.
Moncet anticipated a tricky begin to the competitors, because the crew needed to compensate for their rivals, who dedicated to the brand new guidelines earlier. Nonetheless, he mentioned the scenario his crew is going through is “nad” corn “below management” one month away from the following spherical in Sweden.
“This rally was very troublesome”, Moncet instructed Motorsport.com. “We knew after we got here [au Monte-Carlo] that may be troublesome. We completed the vehicles simply in time. We had quite a lot of work to do the previous couple of weeks so we knew it might be powerful.”
“Once you begin an occasion, you all the time count on higher and we’re not the place we wish to be. We’re right here to win and it’s fairly disappointing. However, we realized issues, as a result of it was the primary time that we may measure our automobile towards that of our rivals.”
“We have seen that when the automobile is working easily, the efficiency is there, in order that’s a optimistic factor. A automobile has completed, we have received a stage, however we all know we’ve got to work more durable and push more durable. .”
“We’re going to must ask everybody who was in Monte Carlo and on the manufacturing facility to redouble their efforts. We’ve somewhat time till Sweden to proceed testing with our automobile, and much more time till in Croatia. The scenario is dangerous however nonetheless below management.”
Julien Moncet, crew principal of Hyundai
Whereas reliability was the crew’s greatest concern, Neuville believes the crew additionally has work to do to enhance the efficiency of the automobile.
“On the finish of this rally, we’re left with emotions of disappointment and frustration. We had a tricky weekend. I gave my life within the Energy Stage, I gave it my all, so I am dissatisfied with the time”, defined the Belgian just about his final time of the rally (third at 2.6 from the scratch). “There was an incredible quantity of labor behind the scenes making ready for this occasion, from Martijn [Wydaeghe, son copilote] and me and the crew, so leaving with none rewards is tough to simply accept.”
“We cannot quit. We’re making an attempt to maintain everybody motivated and we’ll maintain pushing. The need is there and that is essential. There are totally different areas we’ll be engaged on however an important factor is reliability. We’ve to be a lot stronger for the rallies to come back.”