Neuville sees the bigger picture of his Sardinia win

Thierry Neuville is being happy that he returned back to the highest place of the podium and underlines the importance of his win in Sardinia for his championship hopes considering his lack of pace in Estonia and Finland.

The Belgian driver claimed his first victory of the season at Rally Italia Sardegna as the last time he won a WRC round was seven months ago at Rally Japan. Despite his lack of pace on Friday stages and his handbrake problem after Stage 6, he managed to gain two places in Stage 14 and to lead the sixth WRC round as his teammate Esapekka Lappi backed off when he saw that Sebastien Ogier was off the road and lost his lead. However, he was not able to be at the top five on Powerstage which means that he scored zero points there, but he jumped into the second place on the championship standings after Rally Italia Sardegna and is 25 points behind Kalle Rovanpera. Last but not least, it must be mentioned that he was fifth overall on the standings after Rally de Portugal and gained three places with his victory last weekend overtaking Ott Tanak, Sebastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans in the championship.

"First of all, happy to be back again on the first podium position", Neuville said. 

"It has been a tough, challenging weekend out there as everybody could see, we have been involved from the beginning in a tough fight with some highs and lows the whole weekend, but always able to fight back due to a good attack, a better feeling in the car and quite a good tyre strategy, I think, while involved in a fight with S├ębastien and Esapekka as well. 

"At the end somehow the strategy paid off by putting on the pressure on Ogier who made a mistake and that gave us then a good opportunity for us and for the team to secure a double podium here this weekend. 

"That is all what we were looking for, waiting for and that is what the people deserve as well in the team. 

"So we are grateful for that and happy to be here".

Finally, the three-time winner in Sardinia answered when he was asked how important was that win for the championship: "I mean, for us it was quite important as we all know Kenya can be a good event, our car is quite reliable and strong in such rough conditions but we also know that Finland and Estonia aren’t my privileged surfaces and races in the calendar and they are definitely the ones where Kalle is going to be strong, so it was important to take some good points, but it is going to be even more important to have a good event in Kenya and grab some more points, especially more than Kalle on that event. 

"The battle will be on there and it is going to be a tough challenge again as always, but I am really looking forward to that because I have a good feeling".

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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