Formula 1
28 Mar
FP1 in
28 days
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
51 days
Formula E
26 Feb
Practice 2 in
03 Hours
:
05 Minutes
:
27 Seconds
R
Diriyah ePrix II
27 Feb
Practice 1 in
1 day
MotoGP
28 Mar
FP1 in
28 days
R
Doha GP
02 Apr
Next event in
34 days
IndyCar
R
Birmingham
16 Apr
Next event in
48 days
23 Apr
Next event in
55 days

Neuville to make co-driver call after Monte Carlo

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville has said he will make a decision on whether or not to stick with new co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe for the remainder of the 2021 World Rally Championship after next week’s Rally Monte Carlo.

shares
comments
Neuville to make co-driver call after Monte Carlo

On Friday the Belgian announced that his 10-year partnership with fellow countryman Nicolas Gilsoul – which stretched back to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge – had ended due to contractual reasons.

The pair shared the same car together as recently as Tuesday of this week when they tested the i20 Coupe WRC on Pirelli’s new tyres as part of their preparations for the Gap-based Tarmac classic.

Neuville – a thirteen-time winner in the World Rally Championship – insisted that Gilsoul’s departure was not sports related, otherwise “he would not have been in the car during the last practice sessions”.

He said: “The decision was taken with Hyundai [that] Martijn will be accompanying me to Monte Carlo.

“We will see if he is the one who will be in the car afterwards, if things go well. Martijn is young, very motivated. I got to know him because he was in the Hyundai Motorsport team for a few years.

“He has a lot of experience. Freddy Loix has driven several times in a World Rally Car with him and always said he was a good co-driver. He knows Hyundai – he was in a World Rally Car with Craig Breen at Monza [in 2019] – so I was convinced of that choice.

“The first time he will be in the car, it will be the first special [stage] of the new season. I did not expect to be in this situation a few days ago.

“After a few difficult days without finding an agreement [with Nicolas], I found myself in a situation where I was without a co-driver.

“I had to decide in order to find a solution that allows me to be calm a few days before the start of the season. I won’t give more details.

“It is a discussion between Nicolas and I, it only concerns us, [but] the decision is brutal, proof that it was not my will. I had to move on.”

Read Also:

With the pair being thrown in at the deep end on what is considered the most challenging of all WRC rounds, 32-year-old Neuville admits the defence of his Rallye Monte Carlo crown is not going to be easy.

“It is a big challenge for Martijn and me. I had him on the phone and he is very motivated [and] I am convinced that we can still have a good rally,” he told French broadcaster RTBF.

“It is a first for me, too – I rarely changed co-driver in my career because I wanted to stay with a co-driver I felt good with.”

Related video

Neuville splits with co-driver Gilsoul ahead of WRC season

Previous article

Neuville splits with co-driver Gilsoul ahead of WRC season

Next article

WRC future focused on Chinese manufacturers, hybrid cars and action

WRC future focused on Chinese manufacturers, hybrid cars and action
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Author Jason Craig
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021
The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season Prime

The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season

The 2020 World Rally Championship bestrode all 12 months of the Gregorian calendar, and in terms of the competition it was a cracker. Moreover, it was an inspiration in dark days for the world and our industry.

WRC
Jan 1, 2021
The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb Prime

The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb

A series of close calls in his formative years threatened to leave rallying's top echelon tantalisingly out of reach for the man who would go on to claim nine WRC titles. In an exclusive interview, Sebastien Loeb recalls the key steps on his road to dominance.

WRC
Dec 11, 2020
Why the WRC's unorthodox Monza ending was a necessary one Prime

Why the WRC's unorthodox Monza ending was a necessary one

The Monza Rally was an unusual way to end an unusual WRC season, and while far from ideal, without it the series could have faced serious ramifications. To persuade stakeholders to commit to an uncertain future, Monza was an important showcase…

WRC
Dec 9, 2020
How Monza's lottery winner matched a 27-year-old record Prime

How Monza's lottery winner matched a 27-year-old record

The 2020 World Rally Championship ended in heartbreak for Britain's Elfyn Evans as his 14-point advantage in the drivers' title race was whisked out from beneath him by a patch of Italian snow. Thus Sebastien Ogier claimed his seventh WRC title as Rally Monza joined the calendar for the first time.

WRC
Dec 7, 2020