Neuville had closed to inside 10.5s of Evans and appeared set to supply the Toyota driver stern problem for victory earlier than his rally unravelled on stage six (Inabu Dam, 19.38km).
The Belgian had survived horrendous moist circumstances throughout the morning levels earlier than taking 15s out of Evans on stage 5. Nevertheless a compression within the highway on the first nook of stage six resulted in a heavy impact with trees, which ended hopes of denying Toyota a victory on house soil for the second yr in succession.
“I used to be a bit too optimistic in that compression and I hit the sump guard, and it threw me out of the road,” Neuville instructed Autosport. “So it was very unlucky, however that’s it.”
The accident compounded a troublesome day for Hyundai after the workforce misplaced Dani Sordo to crash on stage two whereas Esapekka Lappi struggled for confidence on the difficult asphalt levels.
Sordo might be unable to rejoin the occasion within the third i20 N for the second successive season after a fire gutted his car on the opening stage of Friday’s leg final yr.
Reflecting on Neuville’s shunt, Abiteboul felt his impatience had acquired the higher of him.
“Thierry was in a position to navigate round the entire challenges of the morning and his motivation was excessive when the afternoon loop began in higher circumstances,” Abiteboul instructed Autosport.
“We have been all very impressed together with his first stage of the afternoon, which lower the hole by 15s to Elfyn.
“He was in all probability a bit an excessive amount of in a rush to get better the hole to Elfyn which led to a mistake and a misjudgement of the pace to sort out that compression.
Picture by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport
Cyril Abiteboul, Workforce principal Hyundai World Rally Workforce, Thierry Neuville, Hyundai World Rally Workforce
“It’s what it’s. However it’s powerful shedding two automobiles, and Esapekka shouldn’t be feeling effectively in any respect at this rally and is clearly battling confidence after a foul stint of occasions that he has been by recently, so it’s troublesome.
“Thierry was very clear arriving right here that it was virtually victory or nothing. There was nothing at stake within the championship, so I believe he needed to get that victory for him and the workforce and end on a excessive.
“This all the time signifies that threat might be taken and we in all probability took a bit an excessive amount of threat.”
Whereas satisfied of Neuville’s means behind the wheel, Abiteboul is eager to grasp if there may be extra the workforce can do to assist restrict errors sooner or later.
“He’s able to shocking us, he’s able to managing when it must be managed like this morning,” he added.
“It’s powerful on him as a result of he places in a lot work and has a lot expertise, however additionally it is powerful on us.
“We have now to replicate to see if there’s something we are able to do to restrict that [errors] sooner or later, as a result of it is rather clear that he has the ambition of the world championship title and it’s clear that together with his tempo and the sources now we have, the potential is there.
“We have to work collectively and that may be a dialogue we must always need to see if there’s something we might have finished otherwise as a way to get him to handle his tempo and impatience a bit otherwise.”
Neuville’s demise has left Toyota in charge of the rally, with Evans leading team-mates Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera.