Hyundai boss Michel Nandan has pledged to continue the hard work on his team’s new i20 World Rally Car following Thierry Neuville’s debut podium at Rallye Monte-Carlo.
The Belgian finished an encouraging third on the 2016 season opener after a strong final two legs compensated for set-up uncertainties during the first two days. Nandan insisted the German squad would continue its aggressive development.
“Before the event I would have signed for a podium immediately, of course,” he told wrc.com. “The first day we were a bit, I would not say lost, but our set-up was not really proper and that was due to the conditions.
“We changed things on Saturday and Sunday [Sunday and Monday in Manila] and saw it worked better. Now we have to see a normal rally situation when everyone is fighting where we are, because when we had the set-up better the positions were a bit fixed at the front and our drivers didn’t want to risk too much,” he added.
Hyundai, which will partner Hayden Paddon with Neuville in its lead squad for Rally Sweden on February 12-15, will test in the snow for two days before the rally to finalize the set-up on that it settled in pre-Christmas work. That will be followed by a gravel test ahead of Rally Guanajuato Mexico on March 4-7.
“Knowing the pace is good and the potential is there is a good step. At least you know nothing is really wrong on the car and just by doing some more specific tests it can be improved,” added Nandan.