The Belgian struggled to complete events without incident in his rookie season in Citroen's junior team in 2012, and then commenced his M-Sport career this year with an early crash while running fourth on the Monte Carlo Rally.
But he took his maiden WRC podium in Mexico and added another one last weekend in Greece.
Coupled with two other top-four finishes, those results have elevated Neuville to fifth in the championship, ahead of team-mates Mads Ostberg and Evgeny Novikov plus Citroen works driver Dani Sordo, approaching mid-season.
"I didn't think this would come so soon," Neuville admitted. "I showed speed last year, but now I want to show that I can go to the finish of rallies.
"Especially in Greece this was very important for me. This result, especially for the future, shows that I can be clever as well.
"Sometimes it's not so easy. I think like a 24-year-old who is young in the head. It's not easy to see the [faster] times and then to think I can do the same, but I am not allowed..."
Asked if his performance was a sign of a new approach, Neuville replied: "not a new one, but a clever one. I will come back a bit to a faster pace and try to stay on the road.
"Finding the way between them both is one of the hardest things for a driver with less experience. But it has gone great."
- Sports & Recreation
- Mads Ostberg
- Evgeny Novikov