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WRC Rally Finland: We need to understand Finland struggles - Hyundai

Michel Nandan: There's no hiding from the fact we have had a challenging weekend
Hyundai boss Michel Nandan says he is confident the team will come back fighting in Germany after a “challenging” Rally Finland.

Thierry Neuville led home the Hyundais, just edging team-mate Hayden Paddon, and winning the Power Stage, but just falling short of a podium, with Citroen DS3 WRC pilot Craig Breen in third 4.6secs ahead at the finish.

However, with Neuville and Paddon both complaining about a lack of traction and grip throughout much of the event, Nandan admitted the team needs to try and understand what went wrong.

“We've had a better final day than the rest of the rally, that's for sure,” Nandan remarked. “There's no hiding from the fact we have had a challenging weekend so to take two stage 1-2s on Sunday, including in the Power Stage was a positive way to end the rally. We just need to understand why we couldn't get more out of the car on these stages.

“There are just a few weeks before we compete in Rallye Deutschland now, which will be a special event for the whole team - and I'm confident we will come back fighting there.”

Meanwhile, Neuville felt he had done all he could to try and get on the rostrum.

“We have given our maximum throughout the weekend and been absolutely on the limit. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to get on the podium - but it was very close,” Neuville remarked.

“We had a strong finish with two stage wins on Sunday including the Power Stage, so that was a nice way to end the rally. It was particularly pleasing for the whole team to have a 1-2 in the Power Stage after a tricky weekend.

“We have had some difficulties with the car settings and grip levels on most stages so I think we can be reasonably satisfied. It was an exciting battle with Hayden [too] and to have the opportunity to compete on these incredible Finnish stages is always a pleasure. There are definitely some more things we need to learn about the performance of our car though in these conditions.”

Paddon agreed that the event had been a bit of a struggle, but nevertheless wasn't too disappointed with fifth.

“It's been a challenging weekend but there are some positives to take away. We were second on the road for much of the weekend, so to come away with a top-five result is not too bad,” he reasoned.

“We had a decent final day too even if the driving was a bit untidy at times. We didn't take any massive risks and concentrated on getting the cars home. With that in mind, to take 1-2 in the Power Stage was a nice consolation and I've enjoyed the battle with Thierry. We gave it our all but we've struggled with the car in the slippery conditions.”

As for Kevin Abbring, who was standing in for the injured Dani Sordo and piloting the third Hyundai i20 WRC, he finished ninth on his debut in the 2016-spec car.
by Rob Wilkins


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kevin Abbring (NDL) Sebastien Marshal (GBR), Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Hayden Paddon (NZL) John Kennard (NZ), Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Hayden Paddon (NZL) John Kennard (NZ), Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Hayden Paddon (NZL) John Kennard (NZ), Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Hayden Paddon (NZL)-John Kennard (NZL) Hyundai New i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Hayden Paddon (NZL)-John Kennard (NZL) Hyundai New i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai New i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport

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