Neuville: Hybrid boost will be more crucial in Mexico than in other rallies

Thierry Neuville believes that the settings of the hybrid unit will play an important role at Rally Mexico in comparison with other WRC events and is being optimistic with the updates that Hyundai brought to the i20N last year.

Rally Mexico was absent from WRC calendar for three years and eventually returned to the World Rally Championship in 2023. It will be the first gravel event of the season and will be a challenge for all WRC teams due to the conditions (high altitude, high temperatures). The mechanics have to adjust the maps of the engine as the high altitude affects the car power due to the fact that the oxygen molecules are thinner which means less air on the intake system. In addition to map adjustments, the radiator of the cars is in side position with the view of protecting them from a rock whereas the teams use bigger grilles for better cooling.

"There will be more power for instances, like always the hybrid never last for very long, but it does its job and it will be more effective in Mexico than in any other rally", Neuville said.

"It will not affect the driving style more than on any other rally. 

"But whatever settings you choose for the hybrid unit will be crucial, so that is the key point for the event.

"We have had a good pre-event test.

"Obviously we can only simulate Mexican conditions, so it is really hard to say whether we have gone in the right direction or not. 

"It has been three years since we were last in Mexico, but generally I think we have done a good job today.

"In the Mexico test you always run different power to simulate the real conditions with low power, so you can’t really feel a difference with the new aero.

"But generally the car felt good and a nice improvement from last year and now it is about making the right choices for the rally".


Photo Credits: Hyundai

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