Hyundai boss Michel Nandan acknowledged his team has plenty of homework ahead of the next asphalt rally following a lacklustre performance in Corsica last weekend.
All three i20 drivers were frustrated by understeer on the twisty mountain roads at Corsica linea – Tour de Corse and the prospects of Thierry Neuville repeating his 2017 victory never looed likely.
Third for the Belgian and fourth for Dani Sordo preserved the Korean squad’s WRC manufacturers’ championship lead, but team principal Nandan knows there is much to work on before the return to sealed surface roads in Germany in August.
“We can’t afford to have difficult weekends like this too often, so we will have to regroup and work harder to improve our performance on Tarmac. There are lots of lessons for us to learn from this rally,” he said.
As early as Friday afternoon Neuville conceded he had no chance of beating eventual winner Sébastien Ogier. A final stage engine problem consigned him to third and he trails Ogier by 17 points in the drivers’ standings.
“There was a bit of frustration because we couldn’t match the times even if we tried really hard. I’m pleased with the final result but in terms of performance we were not on the pace,” said Neuville.
Andreas Mikkelsen finished almost three minutes off Ogier’s pace in seventh and the Norwegian echoed Nandan’s call for progress ahead of ADAC Rallye Deutschland (16 – 19 August).
“It was a difficult weekend for us and seventh wasn’t the result we were looking for. The next few rounds are gravel so we have the opportunity to work on things before the next asphalt rally in Germany. We really need to put in a lot of effort to work to improve things,” he said.