Thierry Neuville has said his top-five finish on the gruelling Rally Argentina was a 'huge achievement' for Hyundai.
Neuville initially ran fourth until the final stage on Friday when he lost power and had to stop. He also had transmission problems in the last stage on Sunday, but by then had already moved back up from eighth to fifth, finishing comfortably ahead of Robert Kubica in P6.
“I didn't feel so comfortable in the first stage this [Sunday] morning so I just took it cautiously to avoid making any mistakes,” said Neuville, who was quickest in the final test on Saturday.
“The conditions in the subsequent stages were extremely challenging so I did everything I could in the muddy terrain. The hardest part was the lack of visibility with mud spraying on the windshield constantly. The car went very well and I had good traction, which helped adapt to the ever changing conditions.
“[Overall] the team has performed excellently this weekend, tackling a range of issues with complete professionalism, and I think a top five result in this rally is a huge achievement for a young team. We have for sure learned a lot.”
Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan meanwhile had mixed thoughts given Dani Sordo failed to finish in the sister car
and had been dogged by mechanical issues during the first leg.
“Our objective today was to keep putting the car through its paces in these difficult conditions and hopefully to secure our fifth place overall, which Thierry did, so in that respect we should be pleased,” Nandan stated. “It has, however, been a rally of ups and downs.”
“I must admit that coming to Argentina has been a great test for the team and the crews. We have learned a lot and the team has done a fantastic job. They remained committed to keeping both cars going as competitively as possible after each loop with lots of hard work along the way. The conditions have been some of the worst we've seen so I commend the team and our driver crews for their professional approach,” he continued. “We know that our Hyundai i20 WRC can be quick and we have identified points where we can improve reliability in several areas.
“We might not have achieved a two car finish but in these extremely tough conditions, we leave Argentina as a much stronger and wiser team as a result of our experiences this weekend,” Nandan concluded after round five in WRC 2014.