Hyundai has to wait until October to solve its reliability issues

Francois-Xavier Demaison and Cyril Abiteboul say that Hyundai will not get around solving its reliability issues as the homologation procedure is until July 1 and believe that it is better for the team to wait until next October.

Dani Sordo was the only Hyundai driver who finished inside the top ten and more specifically in fifth place overall as his teammates faced some reliability issues with their cars on Friday and Saturday. Before Thierry Neuville's exclusion from Safari Rally, he managed to gain ten places and to be in eighth position at the end of Powerstage, but he was third until Stage 6 where he had to retire with a broken front-left suspension. After this retirement, Esapekka Lappi climbed to third place and took advantage over Elfyn Evans's stall in Stage 8, but he had to pull over 22 Km into the first stage of Saturday afternoon as the propshaft was cracked. Earlier last week, EP could not set a time in Shakedown, as he faced the same issue as on Saturday, and actually stopped twice on the road section before the start of SD. But again, the Hyundai mechanics had to change his i20N's propshaft for a third time as the same problem hit him in Stage 14.

"We had an issue today and it is difficult to develop a car with the number of jokers you can use", Demaison said.

"You can’t change much and you can only change parts at specific times in the calendar.

"WRC is a really difficult series because you homologate the car and you have that for a long time. 

"If you have made a mistake, it is really difficult to change things.

"We have some jokers for this year and for next year, but the main focus is clearly to make the car more reliable as quickly as possible. 

"I think it will be difficult to make a bulletproof car with three jokers this year.

"We will do our best as quickly as possible. 

"We will go step by step, we can’t just change the design of the car but it will be small improvements in the key areas.

"The next homologation joker is July 1 but we haven’t presented anything. 

"We should have presented earlier. The next open window is October 1.

"We can do an emergency joker, which could be an option, but you have to homologate the solution which you have tested because rushing to homologate a solution that you have not really tested and proved it is an improvement does not make sense".

Finally, Cyril Abiteboul said: "There are a few things we can do in the short term, as always.

"When you have reliability issues in motorsport, you first work on some containment issues which is frankly something we have tried to do here this weekend after the shakedown.

"We have been trying something with the support of the factory and I would have preferred not to have to count on the support of the factory and not to have the issues, but in the circumstances it was good to have their support.

"We will be working on new containment measures with a bit more time before the next rally, but I suspect that in the future we will need to work on a new specification.

"But it is very difficult to be in a sport like this one and making the financial commitment we are doing and yet have to trade between a fix for an issue due to some designs that probably wasn’t the right one and some performance gains.

"We want to have a championship that is a competitive championship and, given our commitment, I think we should be given the opportunity to match the other cars which we can’t do right now.

"Some of that is due to our own weakness, but that is really a problem. 

"We have a new technical director who is really keen on improving car, but it seems his hands will be tied for a long time".


Photo Credits: Hyundai

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