Abiteboul reveals no team orders between Neuville and Lappi in Sardinia

The team principal of Hyundai Motorsport, Cyril Abiteboul, unveils that there were no tactics between Thierry Neuville and Esapekka Lappi on the last six stages of Rally Italia Sardegna.

The Alzenau-based team secured a double podium in Sardinia last weekend where Thierry Neuville won this event for a third time and Esapekka Lappi completed the 1-2. EP was fighting with Sebastien Ogier all the weekend while Neuville was out of pace on Friday and was struggling to find pace with his i20N. However, the Belgian took advantage of his rivals' problems and retirements on Saturday and managed to climb to third overall before the start of Stage 14. After that stage, he gained two places and overtook EP on the classification meaning that he was the new rally leader as the last one backed off his pace when he saw that Sebastien Ogier's car was off the road. On Sunday, EP wanted to avoid any unnecessary risk and to get to the finish line of the event, therefore he was losing more ground to TN at their fight for the victory, but at the same time he was managing his gap from the third Kalle Rovanpera.

"I understand his frustration and just to be clear there was no team order, we simply informed him that Seb was out of the game in stage 14 and therefore he was doing what he had to do in those conditions, which was to manage pace and risk versus reward", Abiteboul said.

"It meant that he lost position to Thierry. 

"I think he recognised the team’s strategy and situation and I fully understand his frustration. 

"I think from being consistent in what we want to do from a championship perspective will benefit not just Thierry but also for him".

Source: Motorsport.com

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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