Runner up in the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship Thierry Neuville said after Kennards Hire Rally Australia that he had “nothing to lose” in his pursuit of a first world title.
Neuville took the race for the title down to the final day of action before he crashed out on stage 22 after hitting a tree but the Belgian was looking at the positives to his season rather than what could have been when speaking after the event.
He said: “We gave it everything and had to take some risks today to try and capture the title. Even it was only a small chance, we had nothing to lose. In SS22, the conditions were really bad, and we simply went wide and clipped a tree. That was it, championship over. It has been a difficult and tricky weekend, and not the way we wanted the season to end but it’s part of the game.”
“I would like to say thanks to the team and everyone at Hyundai Motorsport in Alzenau for giving us the car to fight for the title this year. Congratulations to Sébastien and Julien; it has been great to fight with them this year. We knew there would be one winning crew and that two would go home empty handed.”
He added: “It’s unfortunate we are the unlucky ones on this occasion. It’s been a great season for WRC and we’ve attracted some new fans, so now we have a short break and we can look ahead to another season.”
Neuville finished second in the title standings, 18 points behind winner Sébastien Ogier with him taking a total of three victories in 2018.