Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan confirms Thierry Neuville's "fuel issue" on day two of Rally de Portugal was due to "human error".
Neuville had been fifth overall until he had to park his Hyundai i20 WRC 17 kilometres into SS11, the 26.31 km Marao 1 test. The team later tweeted he had run out of fuel, adding it would “look further into the issue” once the car was returned to service.
Speaking about the "issue" later, Nandan admitted it was just a mistake: “Thierry's situation was obviously very frustrating and we are all feeling the consequences. It was human error but we have already identified what went wrong in the process, and this will help us prevent it happening in the future.
“We are a team; it's the combination of every individual's work that makes the difference. Mistakes happen. It's important to learn from them, and we vow to do that in all areas.”
Neuville, who will now re-start on Sunday under Rally 2, albeit down in 39th position, added: “It is a shame, of course, because we were expecting a strong result here. We were feeling more comfortable in the new generation i20 WRC and aiming for the top-five.
“We got an alarm in the car at around 15km into this morning's second stage, and the car ran out of fuel. There was no way for us to continue.
“Everyone can make mistakes but the important thing is to learn from it as a team. We are working together, fighting and pushing hard. These things can occasionally happen. They shouldn't but we have to look forward and focus on having a trouble-free finish to the rally on Sunday.”