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Andreas Mikkelsen must do better in 2019 urges Hyundai

Hyundai’s Andreas Mikkelsen did not equal expectations – either his own or his team’s – during the 2018 WRC season, according to team manager Alain Penasse. Nevertheless, the Norwegian’s contract has kept him in a full-time, 14-round drive for 2019, despite some suggestions that his program might be cut next year with the arrival of Sebastien Loeb.

But when asked if Mikkelsen would contest all the 2019 rounds, Penasse replied: “Yes, all 14. It was a very easy decision because we have the contract and we want to respect the contract.”

Mikkelsen struggled to make anything like a similar impact to team-mate Thierry Neuville in 2018, with the Belgian regularly calling on Mikkelsen to do more to help his championship chase.

Neuville won three rallies, scored six podiums and was in the hunt for the championship until the final day of the season. Mikkelsen took no wins, one podium and was outscored by Neuville by 117 points.

“It’s been a tough year for Andreas,” Penasse admitted. “And it’s clear that it was not the one he expected or we expected overall. We have had some debriefings after the last round of the championship and we will work together to find a better way.

“We will see in Monte Carlo if he has taken something out of these discussions.”

Mikkelsen agreed that he has to improve in 2019, adding: “It’s very important for me to get my form back. I’m working with this team next year, so it’s important for me to get out of this bad spiral that I’m at.

“At every rally we had a problem. I tried harder to make up for it on the next one. I guess I need just one good result and then I can relax again. Maybe I’m thinking too much about the driving.”

Source and image: Motorsport Week