FIA World Rally Championship

2023 Rallye Monte-Carlo: Thierry Neuville – “I always like starting the year with Rallye Monte-Carlo”

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Credit: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Thierry Neuville will be having his 10th anniversary as a driver for the South Korean manufacturer next weekend when he will be starting in the Rallye Monte-Carlo with a Hyundai i20 N Rally1.

Neuville will be the lead driver in the Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT going into this season, the Belgian ace has previously won the Monte-Carlo event in 2020 and he has also claimed three furthermore podium finishes at the legendary rally in 2016, 2019, and 2021. This season Neuville hopes he can finally secure his first world title after finishing runner-up on five occasions as well as finishing third overall for two years running.

For this season the South Korean manufacturer has delivered a new aerodynamic package for the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 cars, with the most significant change being a new front splitter and a new rear wing but also a new team principal, Cyril Abiteboul, who is known from the Formula 1, so Neuville thinks these changes might help with securing the two crowns this season (the other being the manufacturer title).

“I always like starting the year with Rallye Monte-Carlo; it is an event where we have been competitive in recent years. I expect we will face some tricky conditions, despite the warm weather in the region at the moment. Monte-Carlo is always a bit of a surprise, but I’m looking forward to it.” Neuville said.

“It’s nice to kick off a new season; everyone is on equal points again, and it’s up to us to make the best out of the clean slate. The package of the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid has improved so much since its first round in 2022, which helps with our confidence going into this year. There’s been some slight evolutions on the car which will give it even more performance. We never know what our opponents have done during the winter, but I don’t think there will be any big changes. While everybody will have improved a bit, hopefully we are all on a similar level.”

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