Thierry Neuville insists his 'motivation is full' ahead of the 2016 World Rally Championship season as he prepares to debut Hyundai's much anticipated new i20 WRC.
Having clinched his and Hyundai's first WRC win in 2014, Neuville endured a tougher 2015 campaign with the Korean manufacturer, his position as team leader threatened by team-mates Dani Sordo and newcomer Hayden Paddon.
Admitting to 'lacking some pleasure' towards the end of the season as mistakes multiplied, though Hyundai has reverted to an 'equal status' strategy for its three drivers this year, Neuville insists the hunger has returned ahead of 2016.
“For us, definitely last year was very hard,” he said. “I wasn't on my best at the end of the year. I was lacking some pleasure to do what I do. But now the motivation is full and the chance is the same for everybody to get the good result. We fight for that. This is the moment we have been waiting for and I can't wait to get started.”
New for 2016, Neuville will drive the latest generation i20 on the curtain raising Monte Carlo Rally, a car that he says represents an improvement over its rally winning predecessor due to a more concentrated development process.
“It's an improvement, this car has been properly developed in Hyundai Motorsport – that was not the case before, we had many parts from everywhere and the car was developed in Korea. This is a proper racecar and the first feeling in shakedown was good. I am happy to have the new car now.”