Neuville confident co-driver language issues can be solved

Thierry Neuville says he is sure the language barrier that surfaced between him and co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe at Arctic Rally Finland can be resolved before the next round of the World Rally Championship in Croatia.

Fellow Belgian Wydaeghe’s pronunciation of instructions at the snow event were hampered by intercom issues on Saturday morning’s opening loop of stages, with this leading Neuville to second guess a number of corners.

But with the technical glitch cured, their persistence over the course of the Saturday afternoon stages was rewarded as they moved ahead of Craig Breen and Paul Nagle into third place. They cemented this position and went on to bag three additional points in the end-of-rally Power Stage.

“I’m very satisfied with our weekend and third position, even if second was so close,” said Neuville, who finished 2.3 seconds behind runner-up, Kalle Rovanpera. “We kept believing right up to the end. We have taken some good points for both [the drivers’ and constructors’ championships] which were really needed after Monte Carlo.

“The partnership with Martijn, too, was better. We still have some communication issues to resolve, to get the wording clearer and for me to understand better, but I’m sure we’ll be more competitive with that.

“We have a different communication system in the car. It worked quite well with my former co-driver [Nicolas Gilsoul] but obviously Martijn is speaking French and his native language is Flemish, so sometimes already it’s difficult for him to get the right pronunciation and combined with the intercom issue I struggled sometimes to clearly hear the difference between a 50 and a 75 [speed corner].

“Every time I was hesitating. There were a couple of ‘moments’ due to that, but also a couple of places where I lost time because I understood the corner was slower than it [actually] was," he added.

Read Also:

Neuville – a six-time World Rally Championship runner-up – also revealed that he is now at a point where he feels at one with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.

“It’s been a long time [since] I’ve enjoyed driving it as much as [I have done] this weekend,” he said. “The car was working just fine – I had no complaints. It did exactly what I wanted it to do and I just feel comfortable despite some really challenging stages [in Arctic].

“We had a trouble-free run in the car with no mistakes, the car was working well and the team has done an incredible job. They gave us the opportunity as well to go testing a lot before this event and it finally worked.”

shares
comments
Tanak "pushing" Hyundai for improvements in Arctic Rally win

Previous article

Tanak "pushing" Hyundai for improvements in Arctic Rally win

Next article

Adamo happy with Hyundai fightback in WRC Finland

Adamo happy with Hyundai fightback in WRC Finland
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Event Arctic Rally
Drivers Thierry Neuville
Author Jason Craig
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021