Abiteboul does a review of Rally Sweden despite Hyundai's tactics failed in PS

The team principal of Hyundai Motorsport, Cyril Abiteboul, says that Rally Sweden was a good rally for the team considering the double podium, the number of stages wins and the Powerstage victory despite the fact that their plan did not work out on the final day.

The Alzenau-based team secured a double podium in Sweden with Craig Breen and Thierry Neuville doing the 2-3 for the Koreans. However, the first one was given team orders before the start of Powerstage and was one-minute late at the check control of SS18 resulting in receiving a 10-second time penalty and dropping behind his teammate Neuville for only five tenths of a seconds. Neuville is considered one of the title contenders for this year and Hyundai decided that he should move ahead of Breen, but the Belgian had a moment in Powerstage as he went wide after a corner and eventually dropped from second to third overall. On the other hand, Breen was leading Rally Sweden for a whole day and fought against Ott Tanak, but he lost time on Saturday afternoon due to a puncture and hybrid unit failure resulting in his losing his lead. 

Finally, Esapekka Lappi finished seventh overall and was in third place after Stage 12, but he dropped outside the top ten at the end of Saturday as a front right puncture caused him to spin and to get stuck on snow. He managed to complete Stage 13 after seven minutes as the spectators were trying to unsuack his i20N while he was close to take his first stage win with Hyundai in that stage. His maiden stage win came in Powerstage where he set the fastest time there and took the five maximum points for both championships.

"This is a great way for us to finish Rally Sweden, which has been eventful to say the least", Abiteboul said. 

"We had a tricky start on Thursday, but then built great momentum from Friday onwards. 

"We have scored 10 stage wins out of 18 that shows our team, car and crews have been very competitive. 

"The turning point, unfortunately, was Saturday’s stage 13, where we lost the chance of a podium with EP through an incident that also slowed down Craig. 

"We shifted EP’s strategy from that point to focus on the Power Stage, and it was brilliant to see that plan unfolding today with him taking maximum points. 

"At the same time, we had an opportunity to try and move Thierry up the standings. 

"We supported that strategy by electing to take a penalty for Craig. 

"It didn’t work out as planned; the Gods of Speed decided otherwise and we completely respect that. 

"We’re all still smiling, including Thierry who made a fantastic comeback. 

"He was on the back foot from the start for lots of reasons, so to be back on the podium is a great story for him. 

"Craig has just been mega all weekend, in terms of his speed and performance, but also his attitude in understanding the team situation. 

"Overall, a tremendous team result".

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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